Scott Gessler Hurting Small Businesses

(Priorities.  Some edits for typos and front-paging. – promoted by ClubTwitty)

I am one of four employees at a small business in Denver. I won’t say which one but we are definitely what you think when you think of a small business. We’re an independent, bricks-and-mortar store (though we do online sales as well) that has been in the community for decades.

Scott Gessler’s office at the Secretary of State is hurting our business.

As many of you know, one of the primary responsibilities of the Colorado Secretary of State is to register local businesses. In every other year, we have gotten a small postcard that reminds us when we need to re-register our business with the office.  This needs to be done every year and usually happens in spring.

This year they decided not to send those postcards to Colorado businesses and instead send reminders exclusively by e-mail. Since we’re a business that gets lots of random business spam, we have set up pretty restrictive spam filters.

So of course

“” with attachments goes straight to our spam filter. Back in May.

The state requires businesses to re-register by July 31 every year. The first reminder apparently came in May. The second? Three days ago when they told us we we’re now “non-compliant” in re-registering our business in an e-mail that went through our spam filter and we only saw by happenstance (We do regularly check our spam folder but a “entity-subscribe” e-mail with does not stand out as being important).

Normally it only costs $10 to register the business. This year it’s costing us $50 because we were late. If we hadn’t seen this e-mail and we waited until after October, we would have basically been delinquent and would have to register the business as if it was the first time ever, something that costs hundred of dollars.

I am not writing this diary to complain about our situation. It sucks but we figured it out in time. What annoys me is the things Scott Gessler is doing with his office that have nothing to do with his primary responsibilities. How much did it cost Gessler and Colorado taxpayers to send the thousands of letters to potentially “non-eligible” voters? How much money is he spending to take county-clerks to court to prevent them from sending mail ballots to eligible voters?

I thought Republicans were supposed to be business-friendly? Yet instead of helping businesses, Gessler is waging battles against voting rights. If that isn’t misplaced priorities, I don’t know what is.  

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    Gessler ran for SOS with a mission to suppress Democratic votes, not to serve constituents.  

  2. Albert J. Nock says:

    Put a reminder on YOUR calendar.

    The automated system Gessler implemented is simple and cost me less money and cost the taxpayer less money.

    I added SofS to my contact list; the notice came right through, 2 months in advance!

    This article is lame. The only thing hurting your small business is your inattention to details!

    • parsingreality says:

      ….it’s not the responsibility of the business to read the SoS’s mind, i.e., changing from snail mail to email.  They should have sent out postcards one more time with the notice of no more postcards.  

      And that sender ID definitely is spam like.  They could have picked something else.

      Not everyone is as brilliant as you, Nook.  (snark)

  3. Dan WillisDan Willis says:

    The SoS’s is under no obligation to send any reminder. It really is the responsibility of the business owner to fulfill their duties as far as registration, taxes etc.

    I’m not willing to bar-B-Q the SoS over this. Especially since he has given us so may other flavors to use on him on the grill!

    • Tom says:

      I don’t know the relative staffing strength between the business and elections divisions in the SoS office, but they do share a common boss and PR apparatus. Before the policy change, email was an entirely opt-in practice and it doesn’t seem that anyone was notified of the new policy.

      Perhaps during a week of crowding headlines about immigrant voting, Gessler or his spokesperson could’ve mentioned that businesses would need to use a different method of renewal this year.

      Geez… the guy seems to be pretty much incompetent in all aspects of his job in which he isn’t actively malevolent.

    • UglyAmericanUglyAmerican says:

      I actually believe the SoS office is surprisingly efficient in this regard. Moreover searching the names database and registering tradenames and new entities is really painless. I needed to do a search for names in Texas and found that I had to register on their site and pay non-trivial dollars to do a search. I actually think we have it pretty good here.

      That said, Mr. Gessler is a jackass for his voter suppression efforts and I look forward to the day when he is shown the door, and maybe even the SoS becomes a non-partisan position.

  4. vertigo700 says:

    We should’ve been paying attention to when these are due as they are indeed due the same time every year.

    But I will say that A) We’ve never done it through e-mail before and really did not know to expect the notification to come through there instead of the mail. And B) When we called the SoS office to get our paperwork, the person on the phone told us there were many businesses in our situation and although she couldn’t do anything to help us she sympathized with us and even said that they wished the office gave people more time to file since they changed the notification system.

    The bigger thing is that the noncompliance letter was also on e-mail. If we didn’t see and fix this issue, we could’ve really been screwed once October rolled around.

    As a business, we send invoices and notifications to some of our vendors by mail. Why? Because mail is a physical document that isn’t going to be spam filtered and they are more likely to pay attention to something in their hands.

    We would never suddenly switch from mail to e-mail without telling them so and making sure they understand that. But Gessler’s office decided he didn’t care that hundreds if Colorado businesses understood that. He decided he cared about making sure inactive voters don’t get ballots and that the rolls are purged to prevent non-existent voter fraud. And that is where I feel Gessler has misplaced his priorities as Secretary of State.

  5. Craig says:

    I hate Scott Gessler as much as the next man.  But in this case, I am fully supportive.  I am a corporate attorney and run my own small firm.  I register like you do and I register a lot of my clients.  Frankly, Colorado since Natalie Meyer has been the leader in making it easy for businesses to do business in Colorado.  Colorado has been the leader in innovation in the registering of corporations and businesses for more than 30 years, and continues to lead in this area.  The program you are talking about was actually started under the prevoious SOS, Bernie Buescher.  If your general e-mail filters out this stuff, then I suggest you register your company at a different e-mail address where you don’t have quite such impressive filters.  In addition, you can simply make the SOS site something that is automatically allowed to come through.  This program has saved the government and small businesses many millions of dollars over this year.  I think you are just plain wrong.  You should go back to trashing Gessler where he deserves to be trashed, as the most partisan chief elections officer ever in the State of Colorado.

    • The company I work for does domain reputation protection and inbox placement work, designed to ensure that you’re following all the rules needed to get e-mail in to the recipient’s inbox.

      Sounds like a classic case of just not dotting all of the ‘i’s.

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