Scott Gessler isn’t a household name in national politics, but could become famous in a hurry, just as Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris did during the 2000 presidential recount. Colorado’s swing state pattern in the last five presidential elections makes its nine electoral votes loom large this November. And, as Colorado’s Republican secretary of state, elected in 2010, Gessler could have a decisive influence on the November outcome in the state. He has launched efforts to remove ineligible people from the voter rolls. And if it’s a close vote, he would preside over any recount and be the official who certifies the state’s electoral vote to the U.S. House of Representatives after the election. Gessler scored a victory last week when the Department of Homeland Security agreed to let his agency to use DHS databases of non-citizens to cross-check the list of Colorado voters to ensure that non-citizens are not registered.
Gessler spoke on voter fraud Thursday at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation in Washington along with two of his fellow Republican secretaries of state, Kansan Kris Kobach and Alan Wilson of South Carolina. He said in an interview afterward that his agency hasn’t yet signed a memorandum of understanding with DHS on using its SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) system. “I’m hoping we’ll get it done in the next week or two,” he said.
One of Gessler’s starting points was a list of Colorado voters who had driver’s licenses which indicated they were not U.S. citizens. For voters who come up as positive matches in the SAVE system as non-citizens, Gessler said, “I anticipate what we’re going to be doing is sending them a letter and giving them yet another opportunity to correct any error there may be.”