Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has been attempting to clean up voter registration in his state, with a program similar to that undertaken in Florida earlier this year. And, as in Florida, he’s turned up quite a few apparent non-citizens who are registered to vote. The latest round of integrity checks – using the Homeland Security database that Florida had to sue the federal government to gain access to – turned up 300 names. A previous sweep found 141 possible non-citizens.
As with Florida, the next step is to verify the status of these voters by mailing them letters. (It is, arguably, a bit late in the game for that, but let’s be honest – vote fraud defenders would still howl about “disenfranchisement” and “racism” if these letters had been mailed out a year ago.) According to ABC News, “county election officials have been alerted so that they could potentially challenge the voters, if they show up to vote.”
And, of course, once again we see that election law is the law that dare not speak its name, because any effort to enforce those laws is automatically denounced as a racist conspiracy:
Noncitizens are not permitted to vote under the law, so on the surface the effort would not seem to pose a problem. But the purges have the potential to disenfranchise eligible voters who, more often than not, turn out to be Latinos.
In a report released Monday, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) wrote that the purges have a “disproportionate chilling effect on voting by eligible Latino voters” since state records often have out-of-date information and that naturalized citizens may still be listed as non-citizens in many instances.
Colorado and Florida have been granted permission from the federal government to use immigration databases to check their information.
But the voter purge, as well as other efforts to combat alleged voter fraud, have led to accusations that Gessler is overly politicizing his role as secretary of state. Ninety percent of the 441 voters suspected of being noncitizens are unaffiliated or Democrats, according to the Associated Press.
It’s funny how ABC matter-of-factly “reports” that “the purges have the potential to disenfranchise eligible voters who, more often than not, turn out to be Latinos,” as if that were a fact, rather than speculation offered by highly politicized organizations. Likewise, the report notes that “some in the original group of 141 voters have claimed they are citizens,” without noting how many of them have proved they are citizens. In any event, if the validation process singles out a questionable voter who goes on to demonstrate that he is legally entitled to vote, that means the process is working.
And the meaningless “ninety percent of the suspicious voters are Democrats or unaffiliated” factoid is a cute touch. Fox News has the actual numbers: “Of the 441 identified as suspected noncitizens, 232 are unaffiliated, 163 are Democrats, and 37 are Republican. Gessler’s office has said they did not look at party registration when checking the voter rolls for possible fraud.” So far more of them are unaffiliated than Democrats. Also, Democrats are usually quite proud of boasting that they get a lot of support from the Hispanic community. Illegal alien voters in the United States are highly likely to come from Hispanic backgrounds – that’s a matter of geography, not racial prejudice – and if a large portion of Hispanic voters are Democrats, it stands to reason that ineligible voters will also turn out to have voted Democrat. Of course, every dishonest critic of proper voter identification knows that very well.
Fox News also adds a little feedback from “Ellen Dumm, a consultant working for voting rights in Colorado:”
Dumm said everyone agrees ineligible voters shouldn’t cast ballots. But she argued that Gessler should focus on more important issues, like making sure the secretary of state’s office website functions properly to allow people to register to vote, and coordinating with clerks on election issues before November. She said the 441 figure amounts to a “rounding error” in the greater scheme, considering there are 3.5 million registered voters in Colorado.
Oh, so five hundred, a thousand, or three thousand people disenfranchised by fraudulent ballots is no big deal. Just swallow those illegal votes and keep smiling, America! And what in the world do making sure the SecState website is working, or “coordinating with clerks on election issues,” have to do with purging illegal voters from the rolls? By Dumm’s own account, this is not a large number of suspicious names Colorado is dealing with. Validating them will not be labor-intensive enough to distract the Secretary of State’s webmaster.
What has been happening, over the past few years, is the breakdown of the old “gentlemen’s agreement” to ignore a certain number of fraudulent votes, as data processing technology evolves to the point where tolerating a few thousand phony ballots is completely unnecessary. Those who benefit from shenanigans at the polls are not pleased by the prospect of dragging our electoral system into the Information Age, while racial demagogues are always looking for a new “outrage” they can use for campaign rallies and fundraising. That’s why election law has been twisted into a weird maze of Orwellian nonsense, in which enforcing the law is a presumptively illicit activity, and common sense is contraband.