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A few weeks ago, we raised the question of whether Colorado’s Voter ID efforts were wasting taxpayers’ time and money. These are the transparently partisan schemes that, if successful, likely would influence the upcoming elections. (Although Voter ID initiatives are still pending in numerous states, at least someone has decided that it’s a misguided crusade.)
Colorado’s unrepentant point person on this de-registration drive is Secretary of State Scott Gessler, and it’s been easy to wonder if his Voter ID machinations are preventing him from remedying any legitimately troubling ballot box issues.
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We may have an answer. On Monday, the Colorado County Clerks Association—the folks who Gessler (in theory) is supposed to work with to ensure that elections run properly—sent a letter to his office listing several concerns they have about Colorado’s legitimate voters being able to cast their ballots on November 6. The clerks warn of polling place confusion, in several flavors, should these issues not be addressed immediately. They also suggest that so far, as of four weeks from Election Day, Gessler’s office has shown little inclination to resolve them with any kind of competence or efficiency.
Gessler is known among his peers (and readers of 5280) as an earnest and devoutly partisan public servant whose occasionally blunt and lumbering political style makes the proverbial bull-in-the-china-shop seem like a prima ballerina. As Gessler dances around the legitimacy of Voter ID, we can only hope that his office is as interested in solving genuine voting problems as it has been in prosecuting questionable ones. That we even have to wonder is disconcerting.