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Colorado Voter Suppression - Election 2012

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opednews.com Headlined to H4 10/24/12

(Article changed on October 24, 2012 at 04:06)

(Article changed on October 24, 2012 at 03:40)

Will Colorado Become Another Florida 2004?

   Landlocked Colorado because of the suppressive actions of Secretary of State Scott Gessler, threatens to become just another Florida 2004.   The only difference would be that we remain geographically landlocked. But then the nation itself is currently deadlocked, and it seems this election saga only will be solved on the day all ballots are cast. The following photo is attributed to Colorado Common Cause Online:

 

   On one site encountered on my online search, I found a petition to be signed and did so, forwarding it to other knowledgeable Democratic fellows, and then happened onto the Colorado Common Cause site, where I discovered the following:

   "Colorado's top election official is using state money to prevent registered Coloradans from voting. Secretary of State Scott Gessler's fight with Denver County over mailing ballots to registered voters who missed 1 general election is not over yet. 
   "On October 7th a Denver judge allowed Denver County to mail ballots to its residents who are marked "inactive -- fail to vote' because they did not vote in the last general election.  Since the court ruling 9 additional counties have decided to mail ballots to these so - called inactive voters. 
   "Secretary Gessler argues that the law prohibits counties from mailing to these voters.  The reality is that the Colorado election code, particularly in mail ballot elections, demonstrates that the legislature intended to increase voter participation, not decrease participation in Colorado elections.
   "Colorado Common Cause has asked to join this case because making it more difficult for Coloradans to vote violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to U.S. Constitution in addition to Article 2, Sections 5 and 10 of the Colorado Constitution.

    "CCC's motion to intervene says that Gessler's actions would violate the free speech and equal protection guaranteed in the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The Colorado Constitution also guarantees political expression and an eligible elector's right to vote.  On November 16, 2011, Denver District Court Judge Brian Whitney granted Colorado Common Cause's request to intervene in the case."

   Alarming? Indeed!

   On the Think Progress site I found the following:

   "Although Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) felt the need to question his state's registered voters about their eligibility to vote, aending a letter earlier this month that asked about 4,000 Colorado residents to provide proof of citizenship, his office has confirmed that at least 88 percent of those voters are indeed U.S. citizens.

   "Gessler -- who ran for office on the platform that "fair and open elections are the foundation of self-government" -- sent a letter intended to target "suspected non-citizens" who applied for a driver's license with a non-citizen document, despite the fact that it is entirely possible to apply for a license before becoming a citizen and before registering to vote. An ACLU public policy director calle the letter "intimidating" and pointed out that the registered voters who received it are likely to be "worried that they did something wrong and that their paperwork is not in order."

   "After running the voter information for 1,400 individuals through a federal database, however, Gessler's office verified that the vast majority of the individuals who received the letter did have their paperwork in order and are eligible to vote. There are roughly 168 people remaining to be verified in the database, but an employee in Colorado's election division acknowedged even this group "may also include people who are citizens."

   "Although Gessler denies his attempted voter purge has any political motivation, about 40 percent of his letters were sent to registered Democrats, while only 13 percent went to Republicans. Voter suppression tactics, such as Gov. Rick Scott's (R-FL) failed voter purge in Florida, do tend to disproportionately target Democrat and Latino voters."

   "Despite the fact that Republican lawmakers across the country have been pursuing similarly aggressive strategies to tamp down "voter fraud" in their states, the only real threat to democracy is the voter suppression they perpetrate under the guise of stopping it. When pressed on the issue, even the authors and biggest proponents of stringent voter ID laws cannot cite examples of in-person voter impersonation. This is probably due to the fact that a person is more likely to be struck by lightnings than commit voter fraud.

   "Beyond wasting taxpayer dollars to send out unnecessary inquiries, Gessler's effort may scare legitimate voters but does not appear to have discovered many -- if any -- illegitimate ones."

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