Gessler Pledges Relentless Solutions In Search of Problems

Colorado Secretary of State-elect Scott Gessler sat down for a brief interview with the cam-wielding GOP staffers “journalists” at WhoSaidYouSaid. Now, we know what you’re probably thinking: we’ve been hard on Gessler for his background as the state’s leading election law offender, now very oddly in charge of enforcing election law. But when we saw this interview had been posted, we realized that we were honor-bound to give Mr. Gessler an honest hearing.

Right up to the moment he explained his “top two or three” priorities.

Scott Gessler’s top priorities:

1. Photo ID required at the polls.

2. Proof of “citizenship,” too. Gessler doesn’t think he can actually pass a bill “with the current state senate,” but he thinks it would be “good to have that debate.”

So why, you ask, of all the issues that Gessler could consider a “top priority,” the perennial specter of illegal immigrants flooding the polls is at the top of his list? Because for one thing, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that either has happened or is likely to. As you probably read earlier this fall, several thousand voter registrations were rejected in Colorado, due to a small checkbox for citizenship affirmation that was left blank. In most cases, the registrant probably just overlooked it, but it was caught. And by a Democratic Secretary of State no less.

That’s in part because it’s a federal crime and a deportable offense to try to vote in a federal or state election as a noncitizen. It has been since at least 1996. What exactly can Gessler do, or even the state legislature, that would be more of a deterrent than that?

Well, yes–he can just make it really hard to vote. For everybody.

Even better, the interviewer notes that she voted this year using a utility bill as identification–she asks Gessler, how many people vote using a utility bill like she did? Gessler responds by saying “I don’t think there are statistics on that,” and says that’s something we “need to take a look at.”

Because, you know, it’s not like we need proof there’s a problem!

This is not exactly alleviating widely-held concerns that Gessler is going to make a joke of the Secretary of State’s office, in ways that Gigi Dennis could only have dreamed of.

31 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Voyageur says:

    Elections have consequences:-(

  2. Ralphie says:

    He said so on at least one TV station “debate” (actually a joint interview) that I watched during the campaign.

    The people voted him in anyway.

    The Senate won’t pass any of this shit.  And it’s unlikely that the Governor would sign it even if it passed.  It’s come up before.

    Just the same, I suppose I ought to order a copy of my birth certificate from the State of New Jersey.  Italians and Mexicans, sometimes its hard to tell us swarthy people apart.

  3. MADCO says:

    does he get to waive the fines and penalties previously imposed on him?

  4. BlueCat says:

    The only reason Rs push this nonsense isn’t because there is a shred of evidence that non- citizen voting is a problem.  It’s to intimidate minority citizens and suppress voter turnout among this Dem friendly demographic. There is no other explanation for the inordinate amount of attention R pols pay to this non-problem.  Oh wait. It also appeals to their bigoted base.

    • MADCO says:

      Example- if someone owns a 2nd home in Colorado, say Telluride. And is registered to vote in the state where their primary residence is located, say Florida. I don’t want them voting in Colorado.

      OTOH – she’ll have a photo id.  Whereas the sometimes homelss, highly transient, sometimes living on a friend’s couch, who is a CO resident I do want to vote. And he is more likely not to have a photo id. Or a current registration.  Etc

      Let’s fix it with a national ID.

      • BlueCat says:

        no evidence has ever shown that fraudulent voting by non-citizens or people or with no legal residency is a problem of any significant magnitude.  I don’t even object to a national ID.  information  about all of us is ridiculously easy to come by as it is so worrying about the Big Brother aspect seems kind of silly.  Big Brother is already alive and well.   All I’m saying is that when you look at R priorities they have little relation to the seriousness of the problem (illegal aliens voting, the 6% of funding that NPR gets from federal and state funding compared to, say, the impending death of the middle class as we know it)) and everything to do with drumming up divisive issues for the sake of getting people excited or, if it has any relation to elections, suppressing the vote, always good for Rs.

        Can fraudulent voting be a problem? Sure.  Is there any evidence it’s a major problem? No. Aren’t there a lot more important things that ought to head any list of priorities? Tons. Has voter suppression via various means been more frequently uncovered and prosecuted in recent elections than illegal voting? Absolutely. It is highly doubtful that in recent elections there has been a large enough number of illegal votes cast to effect the outcome. It’s a stupid number one priority.

          • BlueCat says:

            So there’s no particular reason for paranoia concerning a national ID. Too late for old fashioned privacy anyway. The entire concept seems to be becoming quaint whether external or from any internal desire for privacy.  Remember the days when girls locked their diaries?  Now they post details of their most personal moments with photos on the the internet.  

        • MADCO says:

          I would think the #1 priority would be fixing the problems from the most recent election ~ say Arapahoe County running out of ballots (same day the County Clerk, Nancy Doty (R) was winning her re-election).

          Or perhaps collecting the biggest fines and penalties owed for campaign finance violations (Gessler (R)).

          Or figuring out who/what/how the Dr Evil initiatives got ont he ballot (this time.)

          Not gonna happen.

          • BlueCat says:

            work on making it easier for legitimate voters to vote and have their votes count first but I’m not a Republican.  In our culture, it’s also way more common for citizens to blow off voting than to try to do it illegally.  

      • gaf says:

        that talk of requiring a national ID was a dirty pinko commie plot to take over America, and any red-blooded, true, patriotic American (defined as “Republican”) was totally, completely opposed to a national ID. It seems that, like with the Patriot Act (which Republicans of those days would have opposed), principles change when the political objectives change.

    • Cordelia Chase says:

      There has been a bill like what our new Secretary of State is talking about for several years.

      The only good that has come out of it was that in 2008 it was found that in state statute people below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level were entitled to a free State ID. Although, actually getting state statue put into practice is proving to be difficult, at best.  

    • dwyer says:

      To ignore the profound impact that the so-called “birther” movement has had on the electorate is to be SOMA addicted.

      The President’s credibility has been damaged by the claim that he is not a natural born citizen. That speaks directly to how do you determine citizenship and what credentials are valid.

      The claim is that also Acorn registered millions of illegals and that is how Obama won in the first place.

      You are attempting to dismiss the problem by appealing to facts.  The only fact which is relevant here is that the Republicans just had their greatest Congressional victory since 1946.  

  5. dmindgo says:

    that’s what he’s going to do.  When will the people wake up and demand change …

    oh, wait, they just voted in this idiot.

  6. Ray Springfield says:

    There is one Democrat that can be “thanked” for down ticket races being under funded.

    He’s off working overseas in the NGO position he had in his pocket the whole time.

    You don’t need me to tell you who he is.

  7. Half Glass Full says:

    Great attention to detail.

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