Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is intensifying efforts to root out and remove any noncitizens from the state’s voter rolls before the November election — and this time, he has the backing of Attorney General John Suthers and top elections officials in 11 other states. Gessler and Suthers sent separate letters to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday, again asking DHS to help verify the citizenship status of about 5,000 Colorado voters. Suthers’ letter also states that DHS is required under federal law to provide the information, and that the U.S. Supreme Court reiterated that requirement in its recent decision on Arizona’s immigration law.
- Read John Suthers’ July 5, 2012 letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. (PDF, 11 pages)
- Read Scott Gessler’s July 9, 2012 letter to Napolitano. (PDF, 2 pages)
- Read the draft Memorandum of Agreement between DHS and the Colorado Secretary of State. (PDF, 9 pages)
They also sent a draft memorandum that outlines how the process would work, and asked DHS to respond by July 20 so Gessler’s office will have enough time to run the checks, notify voters and “remove names, if any, from the voter registration lists” before the deadline to make such changes for the Nov. 6 election. “Our electoral system must have safeguards to verify eligible voters and prevent illegal ballots from being cast,” Gessler wrote. “An unenforceable honor system does not build confidence in our elections.”
The letter lists nine secretaries of state and two lieutenant governors (who serve as the top elections officials in their states) who Gessler says “share this approach and expect to request” similar agreements with DHS. They are from Ohio and Iowa — battleground states, like Colorado, in this fall’s presidential race — as well as Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Kansas, Georgia, Arkansas, Washington and Alaska. Like Gessler and Suthers, all are Republicans.