Governor Admonishes Secretary of State Over Voter Miscommunications

October 10 2008, 6:54 AM
Governor Bill Ritter issued a press release yesterday admonishing the Secretary of State's office for sending voters erroneous information about voter registration. The letters informed that incomplete voter registrations had to be corrected by October 6. Not so. The deadline is Election Day. Ritter also sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Coffman listing prior notices with incorrect information. The letter, reprinted at the above link, states:
Last month, El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink publicly acknowledged that he had misinterpreted Colorado law when he sent an erroneous message to Colorado College indicating that students whose parents live in another state and claim them as dependents for tax purposes are not eligible to register to vote in Colorado. Even after correcting his error, Mr. Balink posted on his office's website a caution to college students warning them of potential negative ramifications of registering to vote in Colorado. These actions were, in the first case, wrong and in the other, beyond the scope of his duties as Clerk. His actions are unacceptable and should be carefully scrutinized by your office.
Ritter is urging all counties to open polling places on weekends during the early-voting period. What about reports that Colorado may have purged as many as 37,000 voters from registration lists? The charge appeared in a New York Times article Wednesday. Secretary of State Mike Coffman denies it. The Denver Post writes:
Coffman's office presented data that only 14,049 voters had been removed from the rolls from July 21 through today. Of those, 6,572 had moved out of the county or state, 4,434 were listed as duplicate registrations, 1,145 were deceased and the remainder were a mix of convicted felons, people with incomplete applications, non-U.S. citizens and withdrawn registration applications. Coffman did say, however, that in reviewing the duplicate voter registration records, it had come across 2,454 that had been canceled within 90 days of the election.
The New York Times has posted this follow-up article. It's a good idea for everyone to check their voter registration online. You can do so here. If you find errors, or can't find your registration, follow up with the Clerk and Recorder of your county. You can find the contact information for the Clerk and Recorders in all counties here.