Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help verify the citizenship status of some 5,000 Colorado voters in an effort purge noncitizens from the voter rolls before the November election.
According to the Denver Post
, the effort by Gessler, a Republican, has the backing of Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, also a Republican, and mirrors the efforts by GOP elections officials in 11 other states to keep noncitizens from participating in elections.
“Our electoral system must have safeguards to verify eligible voters and prevent illegal ballots from being cast,” Gessler wrote in a letter to the department. “An unenforceable honor system does not build confidence in our elections.”
The Post reported that similar requests to Homeland Security for citizenship verifications have been sent as well by Republican officials from Arizona, Arkansas, Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, and Washington.
Critics of the effort in Colorado say there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud and charge that the purpose of the effort is aimed at intimidating potential voters, many of whom may favor Democrats, to keep them away from the polls.
“This is the same thing we’re seeing across the country, where Republicans are aiming to win the election by suppressing the vote,” Joanne Kron Schwartz, executive director of the liberal group ProgressNow, told the Post.
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