New York Times reports would-be Colorado voters improperly purged

The New York Times reports that tens of thousands of eligible voters have been illegally removed from the rolls in Colorado and five other swing states. And what does Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman have to say? Nothing. Oh, wait! Nothing to say, that is, until the story comes out.

From the report:

In three states — Colorado, Louisiana and Michigan — the number of people purged from the election rolls since Aug. 1 far exceeds the number who may have died or relocated during that period.

States may be improperly removing voters who have moved within the state, election experts said, or who are considered inactive because they have failed to vote in two consecutive federal elections. For example, major voter registration drives have been held this year in Colorado, which has also had a significant population increase since the last presidential election, but the state has recorded a net loss of nearly 100,000 voters from its rolls since 2004.

In Colorado, some 37,000 people were removed from the rolls in the three weeks after July 21. During that time, about 5,100 people moved out of the state and about 2,400 died, according to postal data and death records.

The secretaries of state in Michigan and Colorado failed to respond to requests for comment.

In a blog post this morning, media maven Michael Roberts over at Westword highlighted the lack of a response from Coffman, who, in addition to being in charge of the statewide election is also running for Congress to replace retiring Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo. Roberts also chided the Denver dailies for not doing much — at least so far — with what undoubtedly is a “pretty newsworthy” story.

The non-response seems to be an emerging pattern from the secretary of state’s office.

Yet shortly after the Times story published, The Associated Press put out a story in which secretary of state spokesman Rich Coolidge denied any such illegal purging, saying “potentially ineligible voters have been put on ‘canceled status,’ which it says isn’t the same as taking them off rolls.”

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Cara Degette

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