On his radio show this morning, KNUS Steve Kelley repeatedly let Scott Gessler deliver platitudes about Colorado elections without asking our Secretary of State to clarify himself or provide evidence for his accusations.
Kelley first asked Gessler why he opposes providing mail-in ballots to all voters and offering citizens election-day voter registration. Both, Kelley said, are reportedly part of an election-improvement bill that may be considered by the Legislature soon.
GESSLER: Well, let me tell you. It really opens the door to big problems in the state of Colorado: problems with vote fraud, problems with the election integrity. You know, and other states have used these procedures before and we’ve seen real problems there, as well.
Kelley didn’t ask for evidence of fraud, possibly because there isn’t any, allowing Gessler to continue:
GESSLER: You know, the thing I find particularly frustrating as is Colorado has really good elections. You know, the people who generally sort of argue for this stuff say, “Well, you know, we needed to increase voter participation.” And you look at this last election, Colorado –our voter participation was the third best in the country. We outperform the – three-quarters of the Same Day Voter Registration states. We outperform the All Mail Ballot states. So to me, what it says is these folks who are pushing this type of stuff aren’t looking to solve a problem. They’re not even really looking to improve our elections. I think they’re really pushing it for some type of partisan gain, or a way to change the system, to game it, that’s going to help them.
Kelley failed to point out that, even in a good year, over one-third of eligible voters in Colorado don’t vote. Can’t we do better?
Instead, Kelley asked if election reforms would lead to “a lot more fraud opportunity.”
GESSLER: You know, I definitely think it will. You know, we’ve got mail ballots elections now for sort of the smaller, you know, municipal elections. And a lot of people chose to vote by mail in our general elections. But that’s a lot different than mandating it for everyone and sending everyone on the voter roll automatically a mail ballot for every election. I think that causes real problems with that. And the Same Day Voter Registration side, where you don’t have time to check and validate anyone’s voter registration, there’s administrative problems, because then every single voting location has to be hard—has to be wired up with an internet connection. So you have problems there….
Kelley said the bill would probably move quickly through the legislature anyway. To which Gessler replied, in part:
GESSLER: … What you’re seeing happen is you’ve got this legislature that’s pushing this incredibly liberal, left-wing agenda. I mean, guns, special education for first graders, you know, single payer health care system – they’re trying to jam all that stuff through and then change the rules for the elections so that they can seal in their majorities forever. I think that’s what they’re trying to do.
Again, evidence suggests that same-day registration doesn’t favor one party over the other. Instead, Kelley delivered this:
KELLEY: Well, they say that elections have consequences, but if you are able to manipulate the election process in some way, [laughs] I mean, that takes that to a different level, then, doesn’t it?
GESSLER: Yeah. That’s for sure. And you know, elections have consequences but at the same time, I think everyone has a responsibility to govern responsibly. And when it comes to elections, you know, we want to make it easy to vote, tough to cheat.
KELLEY: …What can anybody do?
GESSLER: Well, I think there’s two things people can do. One, talk to your state legislator. You know, talk to your state legislator immediately about this. And the second, talk to your County Clerk and Recorder about it, too. Because, I know that the head of the Clerk and Recorders’ Association has been part of this whole deal – to write this bill. And I know that there’s Clerks and Recorders that are behind it. I don’t know exactly who they are. And I know it includes some Republicans. And they’re sort of keeping a low profile. They don’t want people to know their involvement. And what I think people need to do is call the Clerks and Recorders, and call their legislators and demand to know where they stand on this issue. And hold them accountable.
Kelley didn’t ask Gessler to name the clerks whom he attacked here.
But Gessler is on Kelley’s show a lot. He can question him more responsibly next time.
HEAR GESSLER ON KNUS APRIL 3 BY CLICKING HERE.
Follow Jason Salzman on Twitter @bigmediablog