In 2010 radio Interview, Gessler implied that inactive voter lists mismanaged to favor Democrats

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has been denying that partisanship played any role in his decision to file a lawsuit to stop Denver from mailing election ballots to inactive voters, who last voted in the 2008 general election.

Gessler’s latest public denial of partisan-taint came on KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman Show last week, in response to a direct question from Silverman at 33 minutes in the podcast Sept. 28 show, 5 p.m. hour:

Silverman: Isn’t this just partisan on your part? Isn’t it because you’re thinking this will favor the Democrats?

Gessler: Absolutely not. Denver can’t do what it wants to do. It can do what it wants to do in a municipal election.

But in October, as he was running for office, Gessler said on a radio show that the large number of Democratic voters on the inactive voter lists concerned him, specifically because more Democrats than Republicans were on the inactive voter lists.

In fact, it concerned him so much that he implied that election officials in Democratic counties, which would include Denver, were managing their inactive voter lists in such a way as to favor the Democratic Party.

Gessler framed the issue in partisan terms, saying at the time that in counties with large numbers of Democrats, election officials are slow to clean up their lists of inactive voters.

“You have some heavily democratic counties that are less focused on cleaning up their databases than other counties,” Gessler told KOA’s Mike Rosen, Oct. 6, 2010, at 10:15 seconds in the podcast:

Rosen: I’ve got a report in front of me from the Secretary of State’s office, and it’s an official report. You can see  it online. And it has total registered voters by party affiliation and status. Among Republicans, we have 869,000 active voters and 199,000 inactive voters. Among Democrats, 825,000 active voters and 242,000 inactive voters….

Gessler: If they have not voted in the last general election they become inactive. And I think what you are seeing there, especially because of the heavy skew towards the large number Democrat inactive voters. I think that indicates variances in the counties and how focused they are. You have some heavily democratic counties that are less focused on cleaning up their databases than other counties. What you always look for to find out if there is a problem with the database is statistical anomalies. When there is something that pops out that seems a little unusual. Here there is something unusual there. You have two times, twice as many inactive Democrat voters as you do Republican voters. That is something that needs investigation. I am not saying there is massive fraud or anything there but that is very unusual to have those statistical anomalies.

I contacted Gessler’s office for a clarification. When he said, “less focused,” did he mean that clerks were deliberately putting less of a priority on cleaning up the inactive voter lists in order to promote Democrats?

Does he believe there’s a little bit of fraud going on here, even if there’s not the “massive” variety? Did his concern about the inactive voter lists play a role in his decision to file the lawsuit against Denver?

I’ll update this post when I get an answer.

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