A young Associated Press reporter has won accolades for staying on the story of the search for noncitizen voters in Colorado—a search spearheaded by Secretary of State Scott Gessler whose 2011 estimate of 11,805 potential noncitizens on state voter rolls recently shrank to 141 and then shrank some more. Earlier this month, AP awarded Ivan Moreno its weekly $300 “Best of State” prize for his work showing how Gessler, a Republican elected in 2010, based his controversial campaign to weed out illegal voters this election year on gross overestimates of the problem. In an October 4th memo to AP staff, Kristin Gazlay—the AP’s managing editor for state news, financial news, and global training—cited Moreno’s “diligent, determined and deft accountability reporting on a key political issue.”
In July, Moreno reported on Secretary of State Gessler’s goal to “move expeditiously” with his efforts to remove noncitizens from the state’s voter rolls ahead of an August 8 federal deadline. Moreno’s reporting culminated in a a late September piece which addressed voter-registration investigations by Republican officials across several states and showed that these officials “who promised to root out voter fraud so far are finding little evidence of a widespread problem.” AP’s Gazlay called this story “the first national look at GOP efforts to attribute voter fraud to non-citizens in key election states.” In 2011, as Moreno wrote in September, Gessler estimated that 11,805 noncitizens were on state voter rolls, but his numbers kept shrinking. Ultimately, after a months-long effort, the secretary of state said he could conclusively identify only 35 noncitizens who cast votes in past elections.
Full Article: Covering the search for noncitizen voters : CJR.