In the Denver newspaper today, two stories that should put a swift end to the push by Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler to pass House Bill 1252–as we’ve discussed several times, a controversial bill that would grant his office authority to
purge audit the voter rolls for anyone he “believes is not a citizen of the United States.”
The first, by reporter Nancy Lofholm, explains how this new law is completely unnecessary–the Secretary of State already has access to relevant federal databases, and authority to check them against the voter rolls. Even better, Gessler’s office admits they knew this all along, and the splashy press conference and trip to DC to tesify we all about “seeking a mandate.”
For a bill with no chance of passing the Assembly or being signed into law? Based on specious evidence, and even if accurate using the biggest of Gessler’s numbers, offset in triplicate by the number of people who became citizens during the period? Lofholm notes that there are very stiff federal penalties for voting as an illegal immigrant, including up to 10 years in prison. Studies have found this to be a potent deterrent to something you do civic duty-style like casting a vote.
It’s a cheap grandstand. Another Latino-alienating boogeyman that vanishes under scrutiny.
Which bring us to Lynn Bartels’ story about previous Secretary of State Mike Coffman–who back in 2007, said it would be “great” if he could “get a list of illegals who have been convicted of felonies and who are registered to vote.” Of course, he, uh, didn’t get one, because he says he didn’t have the ability to check these other databases, though apparently he did–at least legal authority. Or perhaps Coffman meant that he wished “a list of illegals who have been convicted of felonies and who are registered to vote” actually existed, given that there is no real evidence that this has happened in Colorado.
But it’s useful to note how catching that one perfect child molester drug mule illegal alien voter they could make into a commercial for Bob Beauprez’s comeback bid and purge the rolls at the same time…well, as you can see, this is very, very important to them.
The main point here is that all of this is a massive, inexcusable, politically self-injurious, waste of time. And this from a guy who claimed he couldn’t give money back to the state because his office has so much work to do. We suppose he meant “real work,” but who knows?