Jan 30 / Erin Ferns Lee

Voter Purge Bill Defeated in Colorado

A bill to purge Colorado’s voter rolls of suspected noncitizens failed to pass today because it “could take away the right to vote based on faulty data.”

The Denver Post has more on the story:

“House Bill 1050, sponsored by state Rep. Lori Saine, R-Dacono, would have required the secretary of state to electronically cancel the registrations of voters who, after their names had been run through a U.S. Department of Homeland Security database, were listed as noncitizens…

The issue of noncitizen voters was put in the spotlight earlier this year by Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, whose office said at one point there could be as many as 11,000 noncitizens registered and as many as 4,000 of those noncitizens had voted.

But those numbers were whittled down considerably in the course of Gessler’s own investigation, which later found that of 1,416 registered voters run through a federal database, only 141 were listed as noncitizens, and of those, only 35 had voted at some point.

And, as The Denver Post and other news organizations found, some of those 35 actually were U.S. citizens. Secretary of State officials say updated numbers put the total of suspected noncitizens registered at 436.”

“Legions of noncitizens compromising our elections has been a powerful sound bite in recent years, but once again the myth doesn’t stand up to scrutiny,” said Project Vote Legislative Director Estelle Rogers.

“Mr. Gessler’s numbers of illegitimate voters seemed to shrink every time he spoke–mostly by his own admission,” she said. “We congratulate the legislators who saw through the myth and soundly defeated a bill to disenfranchise voters suspected of being noncitizens, without further safeguards provided by federal law.”

A similar bill was reported out of committee in Virginia yesterday. Learn more about SB 1077 here.

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