Suspicions of voter fraud in the 5th Judicial District of Colorado are unfounded, according to a news release issued last week by the district attorney’s office. In July, at the request of Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, 5th Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown and his staff launched an investigation into three people suspected of being non-citizens who may have illegally cast an electoral ballot as far back as the year 2000. Statewide, the Secretary of State’s Office identified 157 voters as being potential non-citizens. By law, when the secretary of state requests a district attorney to investigate voter fraud, the office has a duty to comply and then prosecute persons who have committed a crime, the release stated. On Aug. 30, the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced it had concluded its investigation and determined the three voters in question were either United States citizens — legally eligible to participate in the electoral process — or their alleged ineligibility took place outside of the statute of limitations. Local findings are consistent with those statewide, the release stated. Few if any of the 157 suspected non-citizens could have been accused of voter fraud in recent elections.
Rich Coolidge, a spokesman for the Colorado secretary of state, said Tuesday he was surprised by Brown’s determination that the non-citizen suspicions were “unfounded.”
“Outside the statute of limitations doesn’t mean that a person didn’t commit voter fraud, it means that they can’t be prosecuted for it,” Coolidge said. “That’s why we’re trying to remove these people from the voter rolls. It’s a no-win situation for everyone because voting in an election illegally is a felony and it can also jeopardize a person’s ability to apply for citizenship.”
Committing voter fraud is punishable by Colorado law and carries a penalty of up to three years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, the release stated.