Caldara lives in Boulder but attested a Colorado Springs address was his permanent residence in a sworn affidavit.
"It is easy to move voters around," Caldara said Saturday morning after casting a ballot he left blank at the Garden of the Gods voting center. "The whole purpose of this was to finally show what I think and I speculate happens often, that people come and use this same-day voter registration to move voters around."
Yet El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams said very few, if any, voters have exercised the rights granted by the new law.
No, folks, it appears that after so much hype about so-called "gypsy voters," the one person to try it is the conservative director of the organization that has staked its credibility on the claim. Election law experts have told us this is not just wrong, but preposterous–the law in question revolves around "intentions," and Caldara's "intentions" were to pull a stunt–to make a bogus point about a bill that was authored by county clerks on both sides of the aisle. And by pulling that stunt, no matter how many contrived "legitimate" circumstances he offers to prove his "residency," Caldara committed vote fraud yesterday.
El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams says to his knowledge, nobody besides Caldara has even tried this, because the circumstances where one could even plausibly attempt it are in fact quite limited. Williams reaffirmed that it's a felony to lie on the sworn affidavit Caldara signed, and that he will refer such attempts for prosecution. In Pueblo, Clerk Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz reports that only 39 voters have same-day registered out of some 11,000 votes cast, and all of them were required to legally affirm their residence.
“And those 39 have to sign a signature card affirming they are legally entitled to vote in Pueblo County,” he said. “To do otherwise is to commit voter fraud and I will refer any voters I suspect of that to the district attorney’s office.”
As for Caldara's "residence," it's purportedly a "week-to-week lease" of a single room in ex-GOP Rep. Mark Barker's house. Caldara owns a home in Boulder where he lives with his children. The idea that a bedroom in Mark Barker's house is now Caldara's "sole residence" is absurd on its face. There is precisely zero chance that Caldara truly "intends" to make a bedroom in Barker's house his sole residence. Ipso facto, he committed fraud by attesting that he did.
Bottom line: based on the competent legal opinions we're hearing, Caldara went too far this time and broke the law. His actions meet every definition of an attempt to defraud the election system, and vote in a district he does not reside in. Caldara reportedly turned in a blank ballot, perhaps as a firewall against prosecution, but we're told that doesn't matter. He still cast a fraudulent ballot.
The next step is for the El Paso Clerk to refer the case to the local district attorney for prosecution. Given the partisan affiliations of both of those men, we've already heard talk of going over their heads–to the federal Justice Department if needed–should they decide to let Caldara's actions slide.
For our part, we're relieved to hear that despite Caldara's blatant attempt to destabilize this election, spreading the utterly false story that anyone in the state can vote in these two Senate districts, few if any fellow citizens are listening to him.
We really hope that doesn't change between now and Tuesday.