3:06 pm - Tuesday September 26, 7775

Colorado Voter Update: Verification Halted, Still Time to Register

Kathleen Ryan

DENVER – Good news for Colorado voters, especially those who may have received one of those voter verification letters from Secretary of State Scott Gessler. The Secretary of State announced last week he’s dropping a plan to challenge the voters he says are non-citizens. Analysis by the Associated Press showed the majority of people who received those letters were Democrats.

Elena Nunez with Colorado Common Cause calls the attempted verification effort “misguided.”

“My concern is that, in a year like this, shouldn’t the resources of the Secretary of State be focused on making sure that every eligible voter is being able to participate, not questioning whether or not someone has the right?”

Although Gessler sent out more than 4,000 letters to voters, it is estimated that fewer than 150 of them were potentially illegally registered. Unlike some states, which allow voter registration even on election day, Colorado requires that voters be registered 29 days before the election.

Daniel Altschuler, a New York-based civic activist, says he worries about voter verification attempts, in Colorado and other states.

“It’s something that I think people in communities of color are particularly aware of, that there is this threat to voting rights in this country. And the silver lining is that we’re hoping that this will galvanize people, and remind them of just how important it is to cast your ballot.”

Coloradans have about three weeks to register to vote in the presidential election. The Secretary of State’s office will accept both online and paper voter registrations through October 9.

Voter registration info is online at www.sos.state.co.us.

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