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Colorado Secretary of State Gives Up On Voter Purge

By Aviva Shen on September 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

"Colorado Secretary of State Gives Up On Voter Purge"

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Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) has decided not to pursue a voter purge he initiated by sending letters asking almost 4,000 voters to prove their citizenship. After 482 people responded with proof and almost 90 percent of the suspected non-citizens were verified through a federal database, Gessler planned to challenge 141 names still in question, but does not have enough time to handle the hearings before Election Day.

Instead, he is handing over the names to county clerks who may challenge them at the polls or when they receive absentee ballots. So far, one person has voluntarily come forward as a non-citizen in Larimer County. The county clerk explained:

It was a guy with a work visa. He didn’t even know he was registered to vote. Somehow we think it was a clerical mistake at the Department of Motor Vehicles when he got his driver’s license.

These remaining 141 people comprise .004 percent of Colorado voters. Gessler blamed the Department of Homeland Security for the time crunch, saying the department “dragged its feet” when Colorado and other states fought for access to a federal database of immigrants and legal residents. DHS eventually gave Gessler access, but Gessler found “no confirmed non-citizens.”

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