Mike Coffman trying to supress new voters


This could be the next “hanging chad” story…

Every major newspaper and political website across the country has said that Colorado is THE state to watch in the 2008 election.  As Colorado goes, they say, so goes the country.  Thousands of new voters have been registered in CO, and pollsters have found these new voters are heavily leaning Democratic.  

Colorado Secretery of State, Republican Mike Coffman, is the man responsible for elections in CO – voter registrations, certifying the voting machines, hiring poll watchers, making sure the elections run smoothly, etc.  He is also RUNNING FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES in CO.  Yep, that is right!  He is in charge of counting the ballots for an election where he is one of the candidates!  Obviously, this is a clear conflict of interest.

But wait!  It gets worse…

Today, his office stated they have deemed thousands of new registrations invalid because they do not have a specific box marked on the form, despite vague and conflicting instructions.  The standard his office is now trying to enforce is reportedly contrary to the way they have trained hundreds of voter registrars and voter registration groups.  Given that the vast majority of new voters are Democrats or unaffiliated people leaning toward Barack Obama or Coffman’s opponent Hank Eng, he may be altering the outcome of the election.  

Here is an explanation of the problem:

The CO voter registration form asks for a driver’s license number, state-issued identification number, or social security number as proof of identity (see the form here: http://www.elections.colorado….  The Secretary of State’s office is now telling voters they must have checked a box which indicates they do not have a driver’s license or state ID card, in order for the social security number to be sufficient.  

The sentence says “Check here if you do not have a driver’s license or state-issued identification card”.  It does not say “at all” or “with you”.  This sentence is vague, and may be interpreted by each registrar differently.  When people have been trained to do voter registration by his office for many months, they have been told the box only needs to be checked if the person does not have a driver’s license or state identification card AT ALL.  

On the Secretary of State website, there is a link to a PDF document titled “Registration Information for New Voters”.  After a list of documents allowable for establishing identification, it continues:

… Or you may provide one of the following numbers (without providing a physical copy of the number):

v  Valid Colorado Driver’s License number

v  Valid Colorado Department of Revenue Identification number

v  At least the four last digits of the voter’s Social Security number

According to reports, the Secretary of State’s office has recently deemed thousands of these new registrations invalid, despite the fact they have been completed as instructed!

Still don’t get it?  Here is the explanation.  Imagine you run some errands with your spouse and your spouse drives, so you don’t bring your driver’s license with you.  Or, you could be taking a walk, working out at the gym, shopping, etc., and leave your wallet or purse locked in your car (although it is not a good idea, people do this all the time).  You meet a voter registrar with a clipboard somewhere, and they offer to help you register to vote.  You don’t have your driver’s license with you, although you do have one at home, and you put your social security number on the form instead (a number unique to you).  The registrar collects all the necessary information, asks you to sign and date the form, and gives you a receipt with his/her signature.  

According to Mike Coffman’s new interpretation, the form is invalid if you are honest and do not check the box saying you do not have a driver’s license (because you do – it is just not with you).  If you were dishonest and said you didn’t have a driver’s license, in order to use the social security number option, you may get away with it.  

Rumors of pending lawsuits are spreading.  MEANWHILE, voter registration in Colorado ends at the close of business on Monday, October 6th.  Mail-in ballots, the choice of most of the new voters registered this year, are scheduled to be sent out October 6th, as well.

If you want to ask Secretary of State Coffman to explain himself, or suggest that he step down from his role as CO Secretery of State, or insist that he honors all of the voter registrations in question, please call or write his campaign office at (303) 791-6453 or info@coffmanforcongress.com

or the elections office at (303) 894-2200 ext. 6307 elections@sos.state.co.us .

Republican Secretary of State + Current Candidate for House of Representatives + Vague and Contradictory Instructions = Conflict of Interest and No Voter Confidence.

Information for this story from http://www.squarestate.net/sho… .


A Very Concerned CO Citizen

2 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Dabee47 says:

    Dan already wrote a diary about this.  Check it out.

    As for your little “conflict of interest” freak out, calm down.  Every SoS that has EVER run for reelection or higher office while currently in office has the exact same “conflict.”  Just because he’s running congress doesn’t change anything.  Take a deep breath for Christ’s sake…

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