The Crestone Eagle • October, 2020

Election questions & answers

by Trish Gilbert, Saguache

Co. Clerk & Recorder

Eligible but unregistered Coloradans to register to vote

The Secretary of State’s office sent out 750,000 postcards inviting eligible but unregistered Coloradans to register to vote. This list was assembled by taking the list of current driver’s license and state ID holders and subtracting out all the people who are already registered.  They then removed all people under the age of 18 and those who have ever shown a non-U.S. credential at a DMV. This sounds like an easy process, but it’s incredibly complicated. There will be people receiving this mailing who are

1) already registered

2) have been dead for years

3) etc.

These issues relate to the quality of the DMV list or the existence of substantive differences between the information in a person’s DMV file and the data in the voter file.

Questions you may have:

1. Why am I getting this?  Each election cycle, the Colorado Department of State sends a postcard to every Coloradan who is not registered to vote, but has a DL or state ID, is 18 years of age, and a U.S. citizen.

2. I’m already registered.  Please ignore the postcard. Sometimes the DMV list doesn’t match up perfectly with the voter registration list.  So, a person who is already registered to vote can be accidentally sent a card.  Also, the list was pulled and processed on August 1, so if you registered since late July the list may include your information due to that lag time. 

3. My dead family member received a card.  This means that your dead family member is still in the DMV file.  Please provide the person’s name and any personal information you have like DOB, residence address, SSN, DL, etc. so they can make sure that person’s name is removed from the DMV file.

4. Who’s paying for this?  The Colorado Department of State has a budget line for voter registration that supports this program.

5. How long have we been doing this?  Colorado began sending eligible-but-unregistered postcards every election year since 2012, when Scott Gessler (R) was Secretary of State. We continued the practice through Wayne Williams (R) administration (2015-2019). Secretary Griswold is the third Colorado Secretary of State to send out registration postcards.

6. Please put me on a no-contact list.  Upon receiving this card, a person won’t receive another invitation to vote from the Colorado Department of State for at least another two years.

7. Is this a Russian plot?  No.

8. To whom should I complain?  Please feel free to contact Colorado’s State Election Director, Judd Choate, at judd.choate@sos.state.co.us 

9. This is a fantastic program.  You’re welcome.