Clerks Go Public With Gessler Incompetence Laundry List

FOX 31’s Eli Stokols:

The day before the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming election, many of Colorado’s county clerks blasted Secretary of State Scott Gessler in a harsh, four-page letter citing a “cumbersome list of issues.”

Gessler, a Republican nicknamed the “Honey Badger” by Democrats convinced he’s using his office to advance a partisan agenda to disenfranchise minorities under the guise of a crackdown on voter fraud, is in the midst of a voter registration drive that he hopes will be the largest in state history.

But among the concerns expressed by the clerks is that software aimed at enabling people to register to vote from their smartphones and tablets didn’t work, and that 800 registrations submitted via mobile applications in September didn’t go through.

AP’s Kristen Wyatt via the Durango Herald:

The clerks also took issue with a new policy for overseas voters. The clerks said that a print-your-own-ballot system for overseas voters was also improperly tested and has led to problems.

“Recent errors and oversights have created a cumbersome list of issues for local officials,” the clerks wrote…

The clerks said they had time to contact overseas voters and correct possible insecure balloting. But they chided Gessler by telling him they prevented a possibly “quite serious” electoral nightmare.

“If any contests are close, these ballots would have been contested and results called into question,” the clerks wrote. [Pols emphasis]

Tim Hoover of the Denver paper reports on several other, mostly technical items that clerks complained to Secretary of State Scott Gessler about in yesterday’s letter–there was the error-riddled voter registration postcards sent to thousands of already-registered voters last month, “confusing” implementation of the new statewide voter database, and other problems.

The letter asks for Gessler to “spend less effort attempting to transfer blame to local officials,” and more time working with clerks to carry out a secure and accessible election.

Left unstated in Hoover’s story but noted by the AP and FOX 31 is the 800-pound gorilla in the room: Gessler’s devotion of his office’s limited time and resources to purge “noncitizen voters” from the rolls. While these technical problems aggregate, fester, and become a major headache for the county clerks, Gessler has been obsessed with purging 141 voters, .0004% of the electorate–who as it turns out appear to be almost entirely legal too.

This is the other problem with putting “the fox in charge of the henhouse.” The Bible calls it “swallowing camels to strain gnats.” Gessler has ignored more important (if mundane) responsibilities, with greater consequences for neglect, to pursue a fruitless partisan witch hunt.

Meanwhile, a criminal investigation into voter registration fraud is underway, related to a company hired by the Republican Party, Strategic Allied Consulting, and a longtime GOP operative with a history of voter registration shenanigans. Yet as we saw in his speech to CPAC last week, Gessler’s only interest is in baselessly attacking Democrats with fictitious partisan allegations–now debunked by the laughable results of Gessler’s own investigation.

Folks, how can any responsible citizen defend this man today?

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ClubTwitty says:

    Is impeachment quicker?  

  2. TobiasFunke says:

    That the “check your registration” site being down raises questions about whether or not that’s Gessler pulling strings.

    That’s right. Today’s the last day to register, and the “check your registration” site is having technical difficulties.

    • If Gessler had proven to be a competent SoS without a blatant partisan agenda, today’s glitch might have been a simple “oops”.

      But everything he does has a whiff of partisan hackery about it; it’s the opposite of the boy who cried wolf – everything he does now gets the “partisan trickery” label by default, because that’s the reason behind so much of what he’s done in the past.

  3. ClubTwitty says:

    I suppose you check in from time to time, or perhaps one of your minions can get your attention.

    May I please get an explanation of why your party’s top elected official is so grossly incompetent?  

    Do you, personally, think the franchise of the vote is but a chip to manipulate to grab the reins of power?  

    Or is it just cynical laziness?  Are you OK with such behavior because its much easier to just go along?

    Since the ABOT is simply incapable of doing his job, and it is time for some real answers, you owe it to the people of Colorado or at least those of us asking:

    WTF is going on?  And do you and the party approve with such from those elected officials representing your party and Republicans across the state?  

    Thank you in advance for your response.

  4. AristotleAristotle says:

    Good question. I can imagine how an irresponsible citizen will defend him. He posts under the name ArapaGOP and we can expect him to post-and-run on this diary later today.

  5. dwyer says:

    She was not “cowed” by Gessler.  She has sued him.

    She would be an excellent Secretary of State.  My vote.

    I have only met the woman once.

  6. Gilpin Guy says:

    published an opinion on Gesslers partisan activities today.  The comments he is alleged to have made while the stink of GOP voter registration fraud hangs about him like a wet dog are really indicative of his wrapped priorities.  Maybe the guy should be investigating his own party for something that absolutely dwarfs anything ACORN is accused of doing.

  7. really under way?  By Carol Chambers, an outgoing Republican DA with more than a couple of past issues?  Or, is this just a convenient way for Gessler to claim legal grounds as his excuse for not releasing requested documents before they might make a difference this election?

    I’m not a big fan of conspiracy theories, but in the case of these two clowns, one would have to be blind to ignore their makeup.  

  8. Fired up ready to go says:

    Incompetent, partisan buffoonery

  9. Fired up ready to go says:

    Incompetent, partisan buffoonery

  10. vertigo700 says:

    John Suthers is certainly a die-hard conservative Republican, who often does lots of annoying, partisan things (Suing for Obamacare, for example), but he does his job competently and usually with good intentions towards Coloradans.

    Gessler on the other hand is just not a competent public official. His partisan witch hunts are distracting from simply having a well-run Secretary of State office that processes voter and business registrations fairly and accurately. There is no excuse for having the site down on the last day of registration and there is no excuse to have a partisan hunt of “illegal” voters where none exist months before an election instead of making sure your office is prepared for that election.

    Isn’t there someway to get rid of this guy for simple gross incompetence?  

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