Ren's Ramblings & Writings

Contemplations on things tangible and intangible

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Open Letter to Scott Gessler: The Only Fraud Undermining Our Voting Process Is Secretary Of State

Mr. Gessler,

I have to dispute your recent letters to our paper, and I'm sure many other sources, over the past two weeks, which misrepresent the "voter fraud" issue in CO, misleading readers to think that the voter fraud issue is a problem in CO, when it is, in fact, minor.
* Fraud by individual voters is both irrational and extremely rare.
* Many vivid anecdotes of purported voter fraud have been proven false or do not demonstrate fraud.
* Voter fraud is often conflated with other forms of election misconduct.
* Raising the unsubstantiated specter of mass voter fraud suits a particular policy agenda.
* Claims of voter fraud should be carefully tested before they become the basis for action. 

You are blatantly misrepresenting the facts to the citizens of Colorado to try to justify your voter suppression tactics. Realize that it isn't just minorities and democrats who will be affected by these tactics. For example, many military do not vote in minor elections. In the state of Colorado, their voter registrations are now inactive, and they will not automatically receive ballots in November.

Elderly and handicapped of all races are extremely burdened.  Many older folks were not born in hospitals and thus did not receive state-issued birth certificates (they were born at home with midwives).  There are cases like this popping up for these older voters who have never had a problem before. The ones that have to prove citizenship cannot, despite the fact that they have served in the military and been hard-working and honest citizens.  These laws are a hardship for many of these populations. One of the groups of people hard hit now are those in nursing homes or retirement homes that have voted for years and now need more identification, which most will be unable to afford to get. If they are going to require voter picture IDs, then it should be provided for free and all people should be able to receive that id just by showing the voter registration card they were issued, and for people in nursing homes, then the voter id should be able to be done by fax's or website also, which should cover all people unable to get into the office because of disability or age. 

Here’s an article about a wife of a state rep who was taken off the polls:

I recently read about a WWII vet who was not permitted to vote in a state primary, and another lady in Florida who received notice that she'd been taken off the voter rolls and had to suddenly prove her citizenship, after voting her whole life. Did your sister change her name when she got married?  Has your elderly mother or aunt stopped driving?  Is your daughter or niece going to college in another state?  In 11 states these normal life occurrences may result in these women not being able to vote.  This can happen to multitudes of women regardless of their race or political affiliation.  Read this article about the disenfranchisement of military voters, which I agree with, since many military voters don't vote in the minor elections and thus their registration may become inactive in many states, to include Colorado.

New Report: Military Voters Will Be Disenfranchised On Election Day Without Immediate Action

A whopping SIX frauds in 2010?  Out of how many thousands of voters?
Here are other sources of information for you to consider:
Scott Gessler, Colorado Secretary Of State, Draws Federal Ire Over Questionable Ballot Practices
·         “A lawsuit filed in late September against Denver's clerk and recorder by Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler attempts to stop Denver from mailing ballots to voters who were inactive in 2010. The action led to a slew of high profile politicos, including Rachel Maddow and two U.S. Representative...”

Claims of voter fraud used to push ID laws prove overstated

League of Women Voters says voter fraud is rare

Shame on you. The only fraud that is truly undermining our voting process is you. 
Rev. Renée Lynn Ten Eyck
Fountain, CO

Update: new article posted in the Voting News of the New York Times on August 30th, 2012: Many Suspected Ineligible Colorado Voters Are US Citizens 
             "Earlier this month, Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler sent letters to nearly 4,000 people questioning their citizenship as part of a plan to have them voluntarily withdraw or confirm their eligibility to vote. State officials were able to run 1,400 of those names through a federal immigration database and found that more than 1,200 were U.S. citizens."

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