Grassroots Radio Colorado, George Brauchler, November 26, 2013

Station:   KLZ, 560 AM

Show:      Grassroots Radio Colorado

Guests:    Brauchler


Date:       November 26, 2013

Topics:    voter fraud, cases, Work for Progress, 1303, canvassers, voter registration, Topics: voter fraud, cases, Work for Progress, 1303, canvassers, voter registration,


Ken Clark: Tell us what happened?

George Brachler: Back in July, we had received notice from the Secretary of State’s Office that identified 41 people in our jusisdiction—they’ve done this throughout the state. There’s over 150 of them, but we had the lion’s share. There were 41 cases of suspected voter fraud. And it was our job to look into it. And frankly I think every judicial system took a different approach to this. And I’m not sure everybody invested the kind of time and resources we did to it for one reason or another. But we discovered, not only were there four cases that we ended up charging—I’ll mention that in a minute—but how difficult it was to try to prove or disprove that someone was a valid voter. There are databases out there that we just don’t have access to. I mean, it is easier for a police officer or a DA investigator to determine your criminal history than it is to determine if you are a valid voter. And there is something wrong with that. And so it took a great deal of effort and time we invested into this because I thought it was important.

And at the end of the day, we discovered two out of the forty-one were good to charge, and then we found two others that I thought were interesting that were canvassers from I think it was Work for Progrss, and we ended up charging them as well for falsely procuring voter registration.

Ken Clark reads Denver Post article.

Brauchler: Yeah, that’s accurate. That’s spot on. And really the two of them are voters themselves who we think have violated our election laws. And the other two were these folks from Work for Progress, who had gone out. And we we found is, there’s probably a group of about 10 other folks that probably registered in technical violation of the law, but for reasons I can only describe as in the interests of justice, we didn’t feel comfortable charging them. One was outside the statute of limitations. A couple were confused about their own citizenship. I know that sounds silly, but it’s not. There’s this issue of derivative citizenship about if someone is brought into this country and their parents become naturalized, then that means, they, too, get that citizenship. And they didn’t know. And so there was some confusion there.

And then there were a handful of them that led us to these canvassers, where they had been misled. And they were being told things by canvassers like, ‘hey, if you have a driver’s license, you are eligible to vote.’ Well, you and I both know that Colorado gives out drivers licenses now to everybody and their mother, so that is not a fair measure. It used to be, but it’s not a fair measure anymore. And so they would ask questions in some cases like, ‘Well, look. I don’t know that I’m a citizen. I don’t know that I’m able to vote.’ And they would get advice like, ‘Go ahead. Fill it out. Secretary of State’s Office will figure it out. And the Secretary of State’s Office doesn’t figure it out, because they don’t have a database that tells them this is or this isn’t a valid voter. It’s a very difficult system, and while I agree that there were cases of voter fraud. I don’t think it’s rampant. But I sure think it’s ripe for exploitation. The interesting thing is, that many of these things grew out changes in the last 18 months. We really haven’t seen the full effect of all the changes in the election laws. This is something that we need to address and put to bed well before the 2014 election.

Worley: …What was the other one?

Brauchler:  Both of them were procuring invalid voter registrations. There are felony charges that could have been levied against the voters, because voting in violation of our voting laws is different than procuring the registration. It’s actually a bigger penalty. It’s a felony. But in figuring out the facts in the case and trying to determine what is the most just outcome for this, this was the approach I think was best for us to take.

Worley: .. How ripe do you think it’s going to be going forward?

Brauchler: I just think there is such significant potential for voter fraud. And the second piece of this that should be equally troubling to Coloradans is, our ability to detect it and to investigate it and prosecute it is very much limited by access we have or don’t have to databases that exist for the federal government.

Here’s another thing for canvassers. There are no requirements, really, to be a canvasser in terms of background. There is no effort that is made to determine whether someone should our should not be standing in front of the social services building trying to sign people up by getting their personal information, like address, social security number, drivers’ license number. There are no checks on any of these people. And that’s an issue too.

Clark: …What on Earth are you going to do with this mess?

Brauchler: There is very little we can do proactive. And that is an issue, because in a close-call election, you wonder how long the clerk and recorder and secretary of state can legitimately delay certifying an election. And I’m telling you, for only 41 names, it took us 300-plus hours to try to track these people down and figure out whether they were valid. So, everything we do will be reactive. It will be slow, because of the databases. And, frankly, it has to be brought to our attention. I can’t just presume it happened. Someone is going to have to notify us that somebody voted in two places at the same time. Or do that fancy thing and show up and Caldara their way into a ballot when they say, ‘I’m thinking about moving here so they’ll cast a vote and then, uh, I changed my mind. How to you protect—How do I prosecute that? I do I prosecute whether someone was legitimately thinking of relocating?…It is a law that is nearly impossible to enforce .

Clark: ..[Law was passed so people could commit voter fraud and not get caught.] George?

Brauchler: That is what could happen. If you wanted to attribute to them the most positive motive possible, it’s, listen we want more people to vote, people who have the right to vote we want to encourage them to be active participants and be more knowledgeable when they vote. These are all things we want to strive for. But there is a balancing act here. And if you open up the flood gates and allow people to fraudulently vote almost with impunity because we lack the ability to effectively prosecute them, then you have robbed you and I of the value of our votes. Watered down our votes and taken away some of the constitutional protections we have as well. We’ll see. I’m kind of anxious to see what our fist 1303 looks like and how we fare in front of a jury on one of those.

Clark: …Don’t mess with our vote. It is a problem.

Brauchler: The voter approval of our elected officials, from the governor to the state legislature my god to the Congress, are already down in the freezing temperatures, right? Add to that skepticism about the legitimacy of the election, and where are we headed? Where are we going as a people who self govern.

Clark: Will you keep us posted?

Brauchler:  I think all four of these received summonses to appear in court on Jan. 6 of next year. We won’t see anything till after the new year. We’ll definitely keep tabs on it, and I’m happy, to the extent that I can ethically comment, I certainly will.