As the Colorado Independent’s John Tomasic reports:
“I really have no idea what he is talking about,” Republican Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner told the Colorado Independent.
Reiner was referring to allegations made again recently by Secretary of State Scott Gessler that non-citizens are registered to vote in the state. Reiner said she has asked Gessler in the past to share what he knows so that she and the other clerks in the state can address any potential problem. She said that, in roughly the year that has passed since he first brought up the issue, details from Gessler’s office have not materialized.
“I asked for the lists when I first heard about this. I haven’t gotten any information. I just don’t know,” she said.
Gessler shared more detailed information on the topic last month at an Arapahoe County Republican Men’s Club fundraiser. He said that 150 or so non-citizen residents of the state who had been erroneously registered to vote contacted him before he had even become secretary of state and asked to be removed from the registration rolls. He said that in 2011, his first year in office, 400-some erroneously registered non-citizens had asked to be removed from the rolls, the climbing number, he said, clearly indicates a wider and more serious problem…
County clerks and staff contacted by the Independent so far in some of the state’s most populous counties, including Adams, Boulder, Denver and Pueblo, have said that they, like Reiner in Mesa County, have no knowledge of any non-citizens ever being registered to vote nor have they knowingly received any requests to be removed from the voter rolls from non-citizen residents of the state. [Pols emphasis]
We’ve been watching this situation slowly come to a head through Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s first year in office–a year marked by repeated claims that noncitizens and others were “illegally registered to vote.” In 2011, Gessler sought expanded authority to check voter registrations against other databases to identify “possible” illegal voters, and suggested that as many as 11,000, or perhaps as few as 100 and maybe zero, voters in the state were illegally registered. Subsequent to the defeat of that legislation, Gessler has admitted that he already has sufficient authority to make these checks–as was argued by opponents.
The problem is that at no point while making any of these sweeping accusations has Gessler attempted to actually prove them–certainly not on the scale he alleges. And now the clerks say they don’t know what Gessler is talking about when he claims hundreds of people have come forward asking to be removed from the rolls? In a situation where they would have to know?
When a talk radio host baselessly alleges this stuff, it’s one thing. When the state’s top elections official makes allegations of “illegal voters,” there should be hard evidence. And he should be able to produce that evidence. How much longer can Gessler go on without doing so?