Almost 90 percent of a group of Colorado voters identified as noncitizens may be legal voters. According to an analysis by the Secretary of State’s Office, about 87.5 percent of the 3,903 people identified through a voter-roll comparison to state Department of Motor Vehicle records may be legal voters. Those identified as noncitizens had presented a noncitizen document to obtain a Colorado driver’s license or identification card. They were sent letters asking them to voluntarily withdraw their voter registration. Rich Coolidge, communications director in the Secretary of State’s Office, said 643 of them had Jefferson and Adams county addresses. The Secretary of State’s analysis showed that about 25.9 percent of the addressees had moved with no forwarding address. An additional 482 voters affirmed their citizenship, while only 16 voluntarily withdrew their voter registration. As of Aug. 31, the remaining 2,394 voters had not responded to the letters.
The Secretary of State’s Office has been involved in a nearly one-year effort to purge noncitizens from state voter rolls — a move decried by voter rights groups as unnecessary and a waste of time and resources. Michael Hagihara, the state’s voter registration manager, said the office also ran 1,416 of the 3,903 names through a U.S. Department of Homeland Security database used to confirm the immigration status of applicants for federal-benefit programs. That database, the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements system, had only 177 of those voters listed as requiring additional verification from the federal government to confirm their citizenship status.