Colorado Voter Protest Gets Spun Into Crazytown

Secretary of State Wayne Williams (R).

A controversy erupted last month over a request from the Trump administration’s so-called Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity for voter records from Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. Along with most other states, Williams refused to turn over data considered nonpublic, include the last four digits of voters’ social security numbers and their complete birth dates. Unlike most states, Williams made a public statement in response to the commission’s request that did not criticize the effort’s highly dubious basis for existence–a difference that resulted in Colorado being inaccurately listed in media reports as one of the few states “cooperating” with the commission.

In response to widespread news reports about Williams providing data to the commission, some Colorado voters overreacted based on an incorrect understanding of what was happening. In truth all of the data being sent is already publicly available, and widely used by political organizations and candidates in their own campaigns. Despite this, several thousand Colorado voters took the drastic step of withdrawing their voter registrations entirely, with a smaller number opting to make their voter registrations confidential under a state law that allows this in cases where voters feel the information could pose a physical threat. It should be noted that un-registering does not remove a voter’s history from the permanent record, so this didn’t really accomplish anything other than to lodge a protest.

But folks, don’t tell that to the conservative mediasphere! They’re off and running with the latest conspiracy, typified by Townhall.com’s Wayne Allyn Root:

Thirty-four hundred Colorado citizens just quickly and quietly dropped off the voting rolls. I know the reason why. Because President Trump is investigating voter fraud in Colorado (and every other state too).

Those 3,400 ex-voters are illegal aliens. Until now they got away with voter fraud. But now we have a new sheriff in town. And they’re starting to get the message: If you’re illegal and you’re voting…

IT’S ADIOS AMIGO!

Where do you even start with this? Probably with the fact that un-registering wouldn’t prevent anyone who may have actually committed vote fraud from getting caught. These voters who un-registered weren’t trying to hide anything, because that’s not how the system works. They are angry about their information being part of a witch hunt, meant to perpetuate President Trump’s baseless allegations of voter fraud for the sole purpose of easing Trump’s upset over losing the popular vote by three million people.

And yes, as we said before, it wasn’t the right response–not least because of how vote-fraud conspiracy theorists interpreted it (see above). Their interpretation is nonsense, of course, but you can see how the actions of Colorado voters made it possible.

The second point that needs to be underscored is something that Secretary of State Wayne Williams himself finally did with his response to the commission last week–answering a question about the number of confirmed instances of voter fraud in Colorado going back almost two decades, Williams listed fewer than 20 cases in total out of millions of votes cast. Of Colorado’s election system in general, Williams told the commission:

“Elections are working well in Colorado,” Williams wrote to the commission. “By every relevant metric, our state ranks as a leader in election administration. Thanks to sound policy and the hard work of our 64 county clerks and recorders, Colorado is often ranked first and always ranked in the top five in the nation in both voter turnout and percentage of eligible Coloradans who are registered to vote.”

The best antidote to these allegations of fraud is the simple fact that the system works here. We can’t speak for every election system in every state, but in Colorado, despite continuous allegations made by Republican politicians and pundits, there is simply nothing to substantiate any of these claims. Our Republican Secretary of State, although he fumbled the first attempt to clear the air on this crucial point, will tell you so.

And Williams has more fellow Republicans he needs to tell–like the readers of Townhall.com.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Hmm.

    I'm not sure you're in a position to just assume why they all unregistered. I suspect some of them were indeed spooked. Just because it was the wrong reaction doesn't mean they didn't do it because they have something to hide…….

    • unnamed says:

      Or maybe they didn't trust the people who wanted access to all of their personal info fascist moron.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Hmmmmm, interesting . . . 

      . . . so, pray tell great Carnac, what do your suspicions prodigious powers of psychic prescience and prognostication tell you about all those Republicans who withdrew their registrations??

  2. Republican 36 says:

    How does Wayne Allyn Root of Townhall.com know these Colorado voters are illegal aliens? That's the question. What proof does he have to support his allegation? At the moment, he hasn't supplied any facts to back it up and therefore, until he does present competent evidence, his assertion remains unsupported, silly and doesn't deserve any respect or given any credence.

     

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    I didn't unregister, but my info is confidential now. I have a restraining order to prove my assertion that I'm a domestic violence survivor, if it came down to it.

    But I'm born and bred in the USA.

  4. JohnInDenver says:

    I hope someone is thinking of comparing old voter rolls to new voter rolls, and inviting those who "unregistered" to come back in time for th 2018 vote.

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