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Colorado Secretary Of State Mails Postcards To Non-Citizens, Dead People Urging Them To Vote

CBS Denver logoCBS Denver 9/26/2020 Syndicated Local – CBS Denver

DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is defending the accuracy of its voter rolls after CBS4 learned the office mailed postcards urging some non-citizens and dead people to go online and register to vote. Karen Anderson says she opened her mail about a week ago to find one of the postcards. It was addressed to her mom.

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“Which sounds really nice except my mother has been dead four years and she hasn’t lived, voted, owned property, worked, or done anything other than visit Colorado since 1967.”

CBS4 has learned of about a dozen people who received the postcards who shouldn’t have. They went to a deceased woman in Las Animas County, six migrant workers in Otero County, a Canadian in Douglas County, a man from Lebanon in Jefferson County, and a British citizen in Arapahoe County.

Anderson wonders, “How many went out that nobody called in about it?”

She says the State of Colorado even issued her mom’s death certificate. While her mom lived in Florida, she says, she died while visiting here.

“I don’t know where they’re harvesting names from but (they’re) doing it without obviously doing any kind of check,” said Anderson.

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Judd Choate, Director the Secretary of State’s Elections Division, says they go to great lengths to ensure the accuracy of the state’s voter rolls but every election some people end-up on the mailing list who shouldn’t be there.

“Colorado does virtually every single possible thing it can do reasonably to clean its voter rolls,” said Choate.

Choate says the list they used for the postcards is compiled by the National Electronic Registration Information System using data from multiple sources including motor vehicles, national and state death records, change of address forms, even voter rolls in other states. He says his office then does a second vetting.

“Yes, it’s true that occasionally it will go to a person that it shouldn’t go to, someone who’s already registered or somebody that’s below the age of 18, but the vast, vast majority go to the people who are eligible and then many of them follow-up and become registered voters and they get their ballot in the mail and can vote in our election,” said Choate.

Choate says the post cards were mailed to about 750,000 people. Based on previous mailings, he expects about 10% of them will register to vote. He says he’ll take the chance that a few will get the postcard who shouldn’t, if it means increasing voter participation by 75,000 people.

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He says Anderson’s 93-year-old mom had at some point acquired a state I.D. but he admits they missed the state death certificate.

Anderson wrote a letter to the Secretary of State’s Office last week asking why it mailed a postcard to her dead mother. She says she still hasn’t heard back, “You hear about them trying to register dead people but I never really thought I’d see it.”

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