DENVER: As Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler continued his campaign to disenfrachise lawful Colorado voters with yet another “proof of citizenship” bill, House Bill 1252, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called for reason to prevail over uninformed speculation.
“There has never been a proven case of voter fraud in Colorado history,” said ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Kjersten Forseth. “If Secretary of State Gessler believes someone has voted illegally, he needs to prove it. He can’t have this both ways: has the law been broken, or hasn’t it? So far, these are just unsubstantiated claims designed to provoke fear, and that’s wrong.”
“Gessler claims that there are either 106 or 11,000 people improperly registered to vote in Colorado, a huge discrepancy--and he can’t say which it is,” continued Forseth. “His solution? Place the burden on citizens, and mail demands for proof of citizenship to all of them. What’s more, the legislation proposed by Secretary Gessler and Rep. Chris Holbert does not even specify what kinds of information the Secretary of State might look at. It’s a privacy nightmare, and a solution looking for a problem.”
“What this is really about,” concluded Forseth, “is right wing politicians who want to restrict the right to vote. The Center for American Progress, among others, has documented a multi-state effort to push voter suppression legislation around the country ahead of next year's elections.1 The Secretary of State's job is to protect the right to vote, not to undermine it.”