No evidence yet in Gessler claim of illegal voters

Despite months of waiting, Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner said Secretary of State Scott Gessler hasn’t provided her with any evidence that anyone in the county is improperly registered to vote.

In March, Gessler announced he found 11,805 questionable registrations on the voters rolls. He said he got to that number by comparing a voter database with a confidential Colorado Department of Revenue database that lists licensed drivers.

But the Republican who took office in January didn’t give county clerks the names of those voters, including the 106 Gessler has said he is “nearly certain” are improperly registered, despite repeated requests by Reiner and other clerks.

Reiner still wants the information.

“When he came to visit me a couple of Thursdays ago, he said that digging into the data, they’re finding that some are actually citizens, but seeing that others are not,” she said Thursday. “So, I asked again, ‘Hand over the data, so we can get it taken care of.’ Of course, he won’t do that.”

Gessler’s office didn’t respond Thursday to a request for an update about his efforts. Earlier this month, Gessler spoke to the Western Slope Conservative Alliance and The Daily Sentinel editorial board, saying the state has a problem, but he doesn’t know the extent of it.

Reiner isn’t persuaded.

“I do not believe in what he’s claiming is true,” she said. “I believe that there’s people who might accidentally get registered, but they won’t vote. I have no knowledge of anyone who is on our voter rolls who’s there illegally.”

The left-leaning group Colorado Ethics Watch recently filed Colorado Open Records Act requests for correspondence between Reiner and Gessler’s office in an attempt to see what, if anything, he’s telling county clerks about the issue.

Luis Toro, executive director of Colorado Ethics Watch, said he was surprised to see the Secretary of State’s Office admitted it has no actual names of alleged illegal voters.

Reiner, however, said she isn’t surprised.

“I believe that our vote here in Mesa County is not diluted, and until somebody can provide me with names so that I can follow up on this, there’s no proof that we have an issue,” she said. “He said that he was still wading through the legal thicket to see how he could address this. Yeah, whatever.”


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