Harvey promises to fight on with voter registration bill

Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, told The Colorado Independent today that if his bill to require proof of citizenship when registering to vote dies in committee today, it will find new life in the House.

“I always have a philosophy to start the bills in the weak chamber. To do it quickly to see if we can get it out of there before there is much conversation about it,” Harvey said. “They sent it to State Affairs. If it dies, we will start it again over in the House and bring it back and try to create more momentum for it.”

Harvey’s bill would require that individuals provide proof of citizenship before registering to vote. He said today that he plans to add an amendment that requires individuals to present original documents.

Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who was preparing to testify on the bill, said he was in favor of Harvey’s amendment.

Harvey said that there has been overwhelming proof that individuals who are not citizens are registering to vote. He said his bill would ensure that they are not allowed to in the future.

Ed Kahn, special counsel for the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, told The Independent before the event that his organization works to help seniors receive benefits. He said regulations requiring seniors to prove citizenship when applying for benefits often add two or three months to the process.

“It is just an additional hurdle. There was no evidence non-citizens were applying for benefits,” Kahn said. “Just like here. There is no evidence anybody is fraudulently voting.”