Media omission: Gessler promised to produce evidence of election “fraud,” but hasn’t delivered any

Secretary of State Scott Gessler said a lot of interesting things during his speech at Colorado Christian University last week, but reporters should circle back and ask about a story Gessler told about the last legislative session.

We know that Gessler made a lot of references to voter fraud during the last session, implying that there could be thousands of illegal voters.

At one point, he said he that he did “believe” there were instances of fraud in Colorado that a photo-identification pill would have prevented.

But during his speech Monday, Gessler said he had made a promis to show proof of fraud.

Gessler said he was making a presentation to the Senate State Affairs Committee, and one Senator told him he’d agree with Gessler on a photo-identification bill if there were evidence vote fraud in Colorado. Gessler said he responded to the senator by promising to produce evidence of such fraud.

“Well, you know, we’re going to provide some evidence of that,” Gessler recalled that he told the senator.

The senator responded by saying the evidence would have to be “widespread,” Gessler recounted.

Gessler doesn’t have “high hopes” that a photo-identification bill will get through the State Senate next session, but he plans to try anyway, he said.

He will “assemble the evidence from states like Indiana, assemble the evidence from states like Georgia; there’s been eleven other states where this has passed in the last two years and look at their experiences and be able to make the case that this is a good thing for the state Colorado, just as it’s been a good thing for many other states.”

So this gives journalists a clue about where Gessler may be going with his accusations of voter fraud. With no proof of election fraud here in Colorado, he may trot out evidence, sparse as it may be, from other states, and claim it applies here.

If he does this, journalists should report that Gessler promised to provide evidence of Colorado fraud.

And if he manages to come up with proof of fraud in Colorado, it should be taken seriously, but it would be legitimate for reporters to evaluate the seriousness of evidence based, in part, on how widespread it is. For example, The Denver Post reported earlier this year that national studies show that election fraud by noncitizens is “not an issue.”

Gessler told the audience at Colorado Christian University that opponents to bills requiring voters to present photo-identification take a “see-no-evil, hear-no-evil speak-no-evil approach.”

But reporters should point out that, in fact, when it comes to elections in Colorado, there’s essentially no evil to see or hear, despite much searching. The problem comes when you have a secretary of state who takes a promise-evil, see-evil, and hear-evil approach, and delivers nothing.

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