Colorado officials are still refusing to cooperate with local counties after the secretary of state’s office sent more than 31,000 foreign nationals postcards on how to register to vote in time for the 2022 midterms.
According to a newly released report by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), the Colorado secretary of state’s office has refused to give county election officials the names of foreign nationals who received voter registration instructions in their counties back in October. According to documents obtained by PILF, Deputy Secretary of State Christopher Beall refused to give the names of 54 foreign nationals who were mailed the voter registration postcards in Moffat County.
A spokesman for Beall told a Moffat County official there were “potential legal issues that need to be addressed before lists of erroneous recipients in each county can be shared” and that he did not have a timeline for when such issues would be resolved — “or if they can be at all.”
Because the secretary of state’s office is refusing to cooperate with county officials, there is no way for them to check if such ineligible residents voted illegally in the 2022 midterms.
As previously reported by The Federalist, the faulty mailer was the result of Colorado’s membership with the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a voter roll management system that ostensibly helps states register new voters. As part of its membership agreement, Colorado is obligated to send at least one voter registration mailer to eligible citizens per election cycle.
As I’ve previously explained, ERIC comes up with a list of eligible but unregistered (EBU) potential voters for states by combining data from voter files, department of motor vehicles (DMV) records, and state agencies that perform voter registration functions. After crafting these lists, ERIC sends them to the states, which use them for voter registration outreach.
Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s office blamed the mailing “error on a database glitch related to the state’s list of residents with driver’s licenses” — but ERIC openly admits it creates voter outreach lists using DMV data. In Colorado, foreign citizens may obtain driver’s licenses. (Griswold claimed “none of the noncitizen” drivers would be permitted “to register to vote if they [tried].”)
Griswold’s office tried to remedy its “mistake” soon after by sending out a second round of postcards to recipients of the original mailer, explaining the qualifications to vote. The office also “built a mechanism into the online voter registration portal to prevent any of the 31,093 from using the system,” according to PILF.
“Colorado shouldn’t be sending foreign nationals voter registration information,” PILF President J. Christian Adams said in a statement. “When they do, the public should be able to see all of the records so we can hold election officials accountable. Transparency in elections is essential. This circus right before a federal election shouldn’t happen. Knowing who is to blame and what went wrong is essential to prevent a repeat.”
PILF is currently suing the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for its failure to make public its voter list maintenance records with ERIC. Press Liason Annie Orloff of the secretary of state’s office did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment asking if any of the 31,000 recipients of the mailer voted in the November general election.