Colorado’s top elections chief acknowledged Thursday that state officials made mistakes in reviewing possibly fraudulent signatures on petitions for U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser and pledged to overhaul the process. The new policies will feature better public notice and escalate questions about signatures more quickly to top-level management, including Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who can refer the issue to investigators for review. The secretary of state’s office disclosed Tuesday that petition supervisors in his office knew about questionable voter signatures on Keyser’s petitions for the Republican primary — including one from a dead person — a month before the controversy erupted.
But Williams did not learn about the issue until Tuesday, when he asked his staff to refer the forged signature of the dead voter to the local prosecutor. Other potentially fake voter signatures already are under review by the Denver district attorney. ”
In retrospect we could have done a better job on the review of the individual lines and I think we all admit that,” said Judd Choate, the elections director in the secretary of state’s office. “And that’s why we are trying to develop better policies.”
At the same time, state election officials acknowledged that the scope of the controversy involving forged signatures is still unknown. The secretary of state’s office has not yet conducted a review of other petitions submitted by the same collector who submitted the questionable signatures for Keyser. “We haven’t looked at it,” Choate said.