Jeff Crank Show, Scott Gessler, April 13, 2013

Station:      KVOR, 740 AM

Show:        Jeff Crank Show

Guests:      Gessler


Date:         April 13, 2013

Topics:      Colorado Secretary of State, Voter Reform Bill, Election Reform Bill, Same Day Voter Registration, Mandatory All-Mail Ballots, Democrat Majority in House and Senate, Governor Hickenlooper, Bill Ritter, Stealing Elections, Voter Fraud, Residency Requirements, Bipartisanship, Moderate, Single Point of Failure, U. S. Postal Service, Costs, Senator Morse, Representative Pete Lee, El Paso County,

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HOST JEFF CRANK:  All right.  Let me just say, if the Colorado state legislature hasn’t done enough damage already, the session can’t end soon enough.  Whether it’s the instate tuition for illegals, whether it is the gun legislation that they’ve done, or the myriad other left wing liberal, kooky ideas that they’ve decided to put out there, now they just want to steal future elections.  And there’s just no other way of saying that. They’ve introduced a Voter Reform bill, they would call it.  And it is absolutely outrageous.   Joining me right now to talk about some of the horrible things that are in this bill is Colorado’s great Secretary of State Scott Gessler, good friend.  Scott, welcome to the show. 

COLORADO SECRETARY OF STATE, SCOTT GESSLER:  Thanks, very much.  Good morning.

CRANK:  Yeah, good morning. So, I mean, folks need to understand what they’re trying to do, here.  This bill is absolutely horrible, and I’d like to go through some of the terrible provisions in this.  What’s the worst thing in this bill, Scott? 

GESSLER:  Well, probably the worst thing is the Same Day Voter Registration provision.  That’s where people can show up and vote on Election Day, without having to register in advance.  So, a couple problems with that.    It just frankly opens the door to fraud – creates real problems there.  We have residency requirement in Colorado, and without having a registration in advance of it, that’s basically impossible to enforce.  We’ve seen other with Same Day Voter Registration, and demonstrated very clear instances of fraud because of Same Day Voter Registration.  And unfortunately, the Democrats in charge of the legislature want to bring that to Colorado. 

CRANK:  Well, and tell me this—I mean, this is unbelievable, but I understand in this bill, you won’t actually have to live in the district you want to vote in, as long as you declare it will be your intention to live there later.  Is that in this bill?

GESSLER:  Well, not quite, although it opens that possibility.  I mean, you still have residency rules where you’re supposed to live some place and declare that your intention.  The problem with this bill is there’s just no enforcement mechanism there.  There’s just no enforcement.  So, we have an extremely loose honor system already and it’s getting even loser.  So, if someone’s honest, you know, the bill is fine. But that has to assume everyone is always going to be honest, and we know that is not the case. 

CRANK:  Sure.  Sure.  Well, so they just want to do Same Day Voter Re—does it seem to be—I mean, I don’t know.  Is this a burden for people who might want to go vote, to actually register early, to do it?  It seems like we’d want to be encouraging people to do that over the longer term.  It makes for better citizens if you vote in every election, than if you just kind of show up on Election Day and vote.  You’re probably a lot less likely to continue voting and being that good citizen that votes every time.

GESSLER:  Well, you know, that’s actually a really good point.  Here’s the thing:  In Colorado it is extremely easy to register to vote and, and, here’s the thing that just blows me away:  the Democrats want to shove this through, and they’ve got all these claims about it.  Well, there’s no need for it.  We have the third best voter turnout in the country.  I mean, we’re third best in the country.  This bill also says mandatory mail ballots, where everyone has to receive a mail ballot, whether you want to or not.  We outperform, when it comes to voter turnout, every singly “all-mail” ballot state.  And we outperform six out of the eight Same Day Voter Registration states.  So, we’ve got good participation in Colorado.  It’s very easy to register to vote here.  I’ve spent a lot of time and effort and money encouraging people to register to vote and that has paid off.  So, for them to – you know, people who say, “We need Same Day Voter Registration to help things out”, no, we don’t need that help because things are working fine along those lines.  What we do need is to be eternally vigilant. 

CRANK:  You know the governor has spent his time—of course, we had Bill Ritter, the previous governor, and he was a liberal train wreck for Colorado in energy and other things, and John Hickenlooper wins and says he’s a moderate, and he sort of plays that card up for a year or two.  But I got to tell you, is this guy ever going to find a bill from the legislature that he’s going to look and go, “You know what?  This is just too much!  It’s not right for Colorado.”  And veto something!  Or, is this just –Or is the fix in, here?  They see this as a way to help them in future elections and it’s just a partisan issue and they’re not going to do the right thing.  Or could we put pressure on the governor and make him realize this is a dumb idea?

GESSLER:  I think the answer is yes, we should talk to the governor.  People should call the governor’s office and make their voice known.  And you’re right.  Here’s the thing.  At the beginning of this legislative session, Hick stood up and he said, “We are a bipartisan state.  Look at this great record of bipartisanship. I’m a bipartisan guy. And we need to bring in all voices — moderate, moderate, bipartisan, bipartisan.”  That is what he said.  And this is very clearly a partisan – what I’ve been on TV saying, “This is a partisan hack job.”  Every single Republican legislator was excluded from this process, for this election bill.  Every single person in my office was excluded.    Not that we know anything about elections.  But, uh –.  What this really is, is sort of a secretive partisan power grab.  And the question is, is our governor going to do what he said at the beginning of the legislative session, and focus on bipartisanship and not allow this type of stuff to happen?  Or is he going to go with the flow here and follow the Democrat – the radical – I think, radical liberals in the Democratic Legislature?  So, our governor has a choice to make, and we’ll see what happens. 

CRANK:  Yeah.  So, aside from the Same Day Voter Registration and mail ballots – I mean, that’s crazy!  A lot of people don’t like to vote by mail.  I don’t.  I like to go to the polls. This is going to force me to get a ballot in the mail? 

GESSLER:  Absolutely.  Now, the proponents say you can still show up and drop off your ballot.  Well, that may be true, but you’re still going to receive it.   In fact, everyone receives it by mail, whether they ask for it or not.  And the number of places you can drop it off are going to be substantially curtailed.  In fact, it’s going to be harder for you to drop it off because the number of polling places statewide is going drop by almost 80% under this bill.  So, you’re going to have fewer choices along those lines, less security, that’s for sure.   So, there’s real problems with the all-mail ballot requirements, as well. 

CRANK:  How about the cost?  What’s this going to do to the cost of elections?

GESSLER:  You know, I think it’s going to drive the costs up.  Now, there’s been —  I mean, some of our Clerk and Recorders think it’s going to reduce their costs.   You know, I’m a little skeptical of some of that.  I know that down in El Paso, where you are, it’s going to increase the election costs by almost $700,000.  But here’s the other thing:  When you do a mandatory all-mail ballot system, you’re relying entirely on the US post office.  So, first of all, you have now a single point of failure.  You’ve got one point of failure, and that’s the US Postal Service.  Secondly, I understand that the Postal Service is the most efficient government organization known to mankind.  Right? 

CRANK:  [Jeff laughs] Right.  I think so.

GESSLER:  I’m being facetious.  No, they are hemorrhaging cash. They’re about ready to cut back service on Saturdays, and their prices are going up and up and up.  So, what we’re going to do, is we’re going to find ourselves in the future stuck with the US Postal Service.  We’re going to have no other options, and we’re going to be captive to their ongoing price increases.  So, if people really think that this is going to save us money over the long term, they better get down on their knees and pray to God that the US Postal Service is never going to raise their prices, and I don’t think that’s going to happen

CRANK:  Exactly.  And this makes it– you know, if you just want to go to the polling place, um, it doesn’t cost you anything.  This way, at least you have to pay for postage if you’re doing it.  […]

[commercial break]

CRANK:  […] We’re talking about this outrageous Voter Reform bill that the Democrats are trying to push, not in a bipartisan way, by the way.  They’re just cramming it through because they happen to have the votes in the legislature.  [Crank asks Gessler to restate the terrible provisions in this bill and advise listeners on some of the things we can do to maybe stop this bill.]

GESSLER:  Well, sure.  It’s got a Same Day Voter Registration provision.  That’s the heart of the really bad thing.  You combine it – you know, they also have a mandatory vote-by-mail, so there’s no choice there.  And if you want to show up at a polling place you’re going to have far, far fewer options.  It really increases the costs for a lot of the counties.  El Paso, in particular, has already estimated it’s going to increase the cost by almost $700,000. And then there’s lots of other little jabs and provisions in there, you know–A couple supervisory boards for my office, just for good measure, things along those lines, that don’t do much and waste lots of money.  The thing that people can do, is this.  If you live in El Paso County, don’t call your clerk and recorder.  He’s solidly on board.  But, you should call your legislators, especially the Democratic legislators, just to be frank.  They’re the ones who wrote this bill, they excluded every single Republican.  So you really need to reach out to the Democratic legislators in El Paso County, which there’s several.  And just really, really voice your opposition to this and make it very clear. And then, the last thing you can do – well, two more things.  One is, write about it, blog about it, write a letter to the editor.  You know, get active along those lines.  And if you have the time and can make it, come up to Capital on Monday to testify against this bill, or at least stand in solidarity with those who are trying to make sure that for our elections, it’s easy to vote and tough to cheat. 

CRANK:  [Morse and Lee – Dems from ElPaso County, and others in Pueblo… you need to call them and tell them.  Wouldn’t it be nice if Morse and Lee would stand up] JUST ONE TIME in this legislative session and show us you’re  not just A PARTISAN HACK.   ONE TIME!  I’m begging you!  One time, I’m going to do what’s right, I’m going to be a statesman.  Not a politician, but a statesman, once in a while!   [Mail ballots get returned as undeliverable – how is that not disenfranchising somebody – some voter, by not getting a ballot to them?] 

GESSLER:   Well, you know, that remains a problem.  You are 100% reliant on the US Postal Service.  So, if the Postal Service is perfect, we’re okay.  But no human institution is perfect.   And if the Postal Service makes a mistake, that reduces the integrity of our election. 

CRANK:  All right.  Great.  Scott Gessler, thank you for your hard work in defeating this.  Thank you for your hard work in maintaining the integrity of elections in Colorado.  There wouldn’t be a lot of hope if you weren’t our Secretary of State.   So, I’m glad to have you there. It’s an important role that you’re playing, and thanks for all your doing. 

GESSLER:  Thank you for fighting the good fight, it’s ifor fighting the good fight, it’s important to get th