Gessler Continues Blind Wandering Through the Woods

Per Ivan Moreno of the Associated Press and Ernest Luning of The Colorado Statesman, Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler is mailing 4,000 letters to “possible non-citizens,” (Luning quote) asking them to verify their voter eligibility status or remove themselves from the voter rolls. If it seems like Gessler is trying to get someone else to prove his nonexistent conspiracy theory, well, it’s probably because he hasn’t the slightest idea of what might or might not be happening that has him so concerned.

Ever since he was first elected as Secretary of State in 2010, Gessler has been on a mission to maybe prove that there is possibly a problem with an unknown number of Coloradans who may or may not be legally registered to vote.

The numbers of possible law-breakers are always different depending on the press conference; today it’s 4,000 people, but in June it was an oddly specific 85 people. Actually, there was another figure mentioned in June of 430 possible wrongly-registered voters. County clerks from all across the state – both Democrats and Republicans – have publicly challenged Gessler’s unfocused crusade. Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner, a Republican, flat-out said in early 2011 that she had seen no evidence of someone voting who was not eligible to vote, so she asked Gessler for more information. Naturally, he refused, although he had just recently finished telling Congress of the 11,000 non-citizens registered to vote in Colorado.

Gessler could push back with a little more merit if he had just one number that stayed consistent. Unlike, say his claim in January that 6 people may have fraudulently voted. Or, say, his comments from November 2011 when he said that there might have been fraud in Denver’s elections, but he really wasn’t sure (although he said months earlier that he was pretty sure).

This whole thing has long since gotten way out of hand, and hopefully reporters will stop repeating things that come out of Gessler’s office until he backs them up with something – anything – resembling even a minutiae of proof. For one thing, this whole idea that a bunch of people might be improperly registered to vote is wholly irrelevant if you can’t point to any of them actually voting. It’s like trying to prove an increase in the number of DUI cases by counting the number of driver’s licenses issued.  

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  1. parsingreality says:

    He appears to have it narrowed down to somewhere between 6 and 11,000.  It’s “you people” who expect perfection.  

  2. dwyer says:

    She mailed out ballots to inactive voters.  She took Gessler to court.  She has guts. She is not intimidated

    by Gessler.

    I’d like to see her run for SOS.  

  3. Republican 36 says:

    An elected public official, especially one who administers our elections, is duty bound because he guards the integrity of our elections to be forthright, honest and judicious is his statements and actions regarding individual voters and the status of our electoral system. Instead of following these principles, honored by every single Colorado Secretary of State over the past forty years, Mr. Gessler has chosen to make wild and always unfounded allegations about voter fraud over the past twenty months since he entered that office.

    He hasn’t uncovered any voter fraud. Instead, his mendacious statements can have only two effects. One, motivated by something other than honorable public service, he is, without evidence and clearly without regret, undermining the trust our citizens have in our elections and how they are conducted. This amounts to an act of immorality toward each of us and the principles our state and country were founded upon. By taking this path he would, if he had his way, destroy our electoral system and then what would we have. Whether he knows it or not, his attitudes and actions strike at the core of who we are and how we conduct our public affairs.

    The other effect is less dramatic but important. As an individual and especially as an elected official, he has lost any credibility he may once have had. Elected public officials cannot govern without it. He has the legal right to hold the office of secretary of state by virtue of his election to that post in 2010 but he no longer has the credibility to remain as our secretary of state. His party affiliation, his political philosophy are no longer relevant or important. Whether he is dishonest or motivated by some personal desire to see his name in the paper isn’t important either. He simply cannot be trusted to administer our election system fairly and in the best interests of our citizens.

    It is time for Mr. Gessler to resign.      

     

    • unnamed says:

      …to expose his actions to the public and put pressure on him to resign for the good of the state.  I’m not sure that there is any way right now.

      • Republican 36 says:

        but this is percolating and will eventually come to a boil. If the Denver Post and some of the other major daily newspapers around the state begin to take him on and ask for his resignation, as well as some of the clerks and recorders from the major counties, including Republican clerks, Mr. Gessler will be in serious trouble. I have spoken with a few of the Republican clerks and they are seething over Mr. Gessler’s statements and actions. Political resignations don’t happen overnight but I believe that is where we are headed with Mr. Gessler.

      • sxp151 says:

        is if there were ONE Republican who believed, “I’d like to win the election but not if I have to disenfranchise a bunch of black and Latino people to do it, because the integrity of democracy is more important than any individual election result.”

        Unfortunately, every Republican who ever felt that way has now left the party.

    • dukeco1 says:

      How I wish thoughtful Republicans like you still controlled your party.

  4. Aristotle says:

    If only Scott Gessler had seen this scene from a classic political thriller…

    • parsingreality says:

      That was amazing, Ari.

      • Aristotle says:

        That of course was a parody of Joe McCarthy, who gave out different numbers of alleged communists working in the State Department. Seeing how much Gessler is doing the same thing is a pretty solid reason to believe that he has absolutely nothing, just like McCarthy.

    • SSG_Dan says:

      ..actually, she is the only reason this film is a masterpiece of cinema.

      She’s the masterful villain in charge, the dangerous dark Jocasta to her son Raymond, and relentless politico spouse thru the campaign scenes.  

      • Aristotle says:

        She turned in the best performance (of her career, not just in the film), but Laurence Harvey was terrific, too. And although his acting style is a throwback, ol’ Blue Eyes held his own, I think. And James Gregory as the hapless Senator was perfect for that role. (He was later Inspector Lugar on “Barney Miller.”) The only problem is the weird subplot with Janet Leigh.

        If you want to see HAWT Angela Lansbury, check out Gaslight sometime.

        • SSG_Dan says:

          If she doesn’t carry her supporting role, no one believes that the Senator is her doofus tool, nor does it pull off the weird powers she has over Raymond. Her monologue about “the speech” probably ends up comical and not chilling.

          And DON’T get me started on Sinatra in this movie – Frankenheimer reshot the interrogation sequence for the final print, but Old Blue Eyes phoned in the performance and he had to use to rough shoot.

          It ended up working out (actually, it makes it a great scene) but Sinatra almost kills this movie.  

    • Tazistan Jen says:

      Such a good movie.  The remake was pretty good too.

  5. WestSloper says:

    Gessler should look into the oil and gas workers who are only temporarily in Colorado to work, but are “highly encouraged” to declare they are living here permanently so they can vote in our state to influence local and state elections. In Garfield County (Western Slope) in 2008, there were literally tens of questionable voter registrations sent from an unidentified PO Box in Junction to the GarCo Clerk. The registrations had only a couple of common addresses. If a survey of voters had been made a month after the 2008 election in GarCo, the election results would have been vastly different.

  6. caroman says:

    How many vote recounts have resulted in no change in the results?  Probably none.  In fact, vote recounts have often changed the ultimate outcome of the race.

    How many cases of voter fraud have been documented? Just a handful, and they did not have an affect on the ultimate winner.

    Gessler and the GOP should concentrate on accurately counting votes that are cast.

  7. slavdude says:

    What about registered voters now who were not eligible to vote in the last election?  I’m talking about people under the age of 18 in 2010 as well as legal immigrants who didn’t get their citizenship until after the mid-term elections.

    • GalapagoLarry says:

      They’re still registered. But I urge everyone to check along in September to make sure. Sure for sure. And to make sure their ID matches their registration in name and current address as of Nov. 6. This fucking party hack we have for a Secretary of State will try something else before the election.

      If they haven’t registered at all they must register before Oct. 9 (Don’t put if off til then!), if they want to vote, using their valid Colo. driver license or state ID if they were ever–ever–issued one. If they’ve never been issued one of those they can use the last 4 digits of their SS#. At registration they should be given a receipt for tracking purposes. The SOS will then mail them a voter ID card. Still, they should take their ID with them to the polls.

      If they want a mail-in ballot, they must request one when they register or fill out a change form or re-register. (Anybody in doubt of their status, re-register. It’s legal and sure won’t hurt.)

      Leave nothing to chance. Gessler does not consider himself a public servant; he sees himself as a Republican Party functionary. Republicans would just as soon you didn’t vote. You don’t vote, you’re carrying out someone else’s plan, not your own. Take charge.

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