Another 300 suspected non-citizens are on Colorado’s voter rolls, Secretary of State Scott Gessler disclosed Tuesday in what has contributed to a heated national debate over voter fraud and so-called “voter suppression.” Gessler’s figures stem from the roughly 3,900 people who were sent letters in August which inquired about their citizenship status. This new 300-person group has been added to a list of another 141 people who were identified as possible non-citizens based on federal immigration data.
Democratic critics have railed against Gessler, who is a Republican, for acting on political motives by enacting checks that could potentially disenfranchise legal minority voters. This latest data mean that out of the 3,900 who received letters, 441 are suspected of being non-citizens, according to the federal immigration database, which is normally used to determine the status of legal immigrants who collect government benefits.
Gessler’s staff affirmed that they have mailed letters to suspected ineligible voters, notifying them of the findings so the recipients can either validate their citizenship or remove themselves from the voter rolls. "It's unacceptable to have ineligible voters casting ballots in our elections," Gessler declared, adding, "We want to ensure the most accurate reliable elections possible. Though the timing is not ideal, I felt it was important to alert these voters that the federal government says they're not citizens.”
Some battleground states, such as Florida and Colorado, have received permission from the federal government to use the U.S. immigration database to determine voter eligibility. Meanwhile, Gessler and other Republicans have met contentious opposition from Democrats and liberal advocacy groups, who are questioning their political motives and accusing them of suppressing the minority vote.
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Photo of Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler: AP Images