When Scott Gessler was elected Colorado’s Secretary of State in 2010, he made a priority of increasing restrictions on voting, a popular cause and tactic with others on the American right. For example, he ordered county clerks not to send ballots to some troops deployed overseas.
In the months leading up to the 2012 election, Gessler tried to purge voter rolls, but found such piddling evidence of a problem that he gave up the effort. He had identified only 141 names to challenge, the equivalent of 18.1% of the 779 citizens whose registrations his office might have lost through a software problem.
This year Gessler had his office compile a list of 155 people who he said might have voted illegally in 2012, not being citizens. That number of alleged illegal voters was .006% of the total electorate, well below the count needed to change the presidential result. In fact, all together those voters would not have been enough to knock the Socialist Equality Party off the last place in the official results.
Gessler sent his lists of suspicious voters to the district attorneys of the counties where those voters lived. The DA for Boulder County, Stan Garnett, received 17 names, or 11.0% of the list. Boulder County contained only 5.8% of Colorado’s population in 2010. But it’s a heavily Democratic area.
This week Garnett announced the results of the investigation his staff had to do on those voters for the Secretary of State. All 17 “were citizens and were able to easily verify their status.”
Gessler’s rate for finding illegal voters in Boulder County was thus 0.00%. But he’s still making the suppression of allegedly illegal votes a priority.