Caldara writes off Vander Veen fraud probe: ‘Voter mischief now basically legal’

Independence Institute President Jon Caldara says news that the attorney general is investigating former El Paso County Clerk staffer Alissa Vander Veen for voter fraud is not really surprising. For months he has been arguing and trying to demonstrate that a new law that put in place same-day registration in Colorado encourages troublemaking at the polls.

Caldara said he doesn’t remember ever speaking to Vander Veen or know anything about her case, but he added that he thinks the state’s Voter Access and Election Modernization Act “basically legalizes voter mischief.”

It’s odd that anyone would take issue with people simply exercising “their new voting rights,” he said. “Maybe instead of getting angry at any of those people, they should fix the damn law.”

Democrats, with the support of most of the state’s county clerks, passed the sweeping law last session, looking to increase voter turn out and up the efficiency of election administration for the digital age. Caldara joined Republican lawmakers in opposing the bill. He said so-called gypsy voters wold now be able to game the system by registering the day of the election wherever they wanted to vote in the state. Critics said the complaint was fear mongering and pointed out that state laws preventing voter fraud had not changed.

But Caldara, no stranger to the world of showy political statement, was determined to test the system. He posted a website encouraging “gypsy voting” and, although a longtime resident of Boulder County, he filed a transparently bogus registration in El Paso County and cast a blank ballot in the heated recall election there this summer.

“You know there’s an investigation on me as well,” Caldara said, deadpan. “That’s par for the course when there’s a complaint filed, the DA has to look at it. If the DA is conflicted, then he has to bump it up to the AG’s office… That’s not unusual, not necessarily nefarious.”

El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams reportedly passed the names of 18 individuals suspected of committing voter fraud in that recall election over to the county DA — ten Democrat, four Republican and four unaffiliated voters. The Independent broke news yesterday that Vander Veen was being investigated. Caldara remains the only voter under investigation to voluntarily go public.

“I voted very legally in that election and I’m sure others did too, even if the people who promoted same day registration squawk about it,” he said.

Like Caldara, Vander Veen is a longtime political insider and worked for years in the El Paso clerk’s office. She has given no indication that she ever meant to protest voter laws.


  1. Caldera is and always has been a complete twit. This moron never loses an opportunity to be a mean, intellectually lazy, accusing with NO proof type of right wing JERK. Pretty much like the way ALL right wingers have decided it’s just fine to be a butthead to everyone in the state and country. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make for a decent society, but that seems to be what they want, because they have been working towards it for decades.

    May I remind Mr MORON that until there is SOME evidence of actual voter fraud, this unneeded and democracy killing NONSENSE is nothing but an attempt to stack the deck with more white, right wing voters. There is NOTHING that should be allowed to stand in this effort. It is corrupt, it is illegal (or SHOULD be), it is indefensible from any factual standpoint.

    You want to make difference in elections, go after ELECTION fraud, which is largely on the right wing’s side. They see everyone else as being cheaters because THEY are the biggest cheating scum of all.

    Republicans should be arrested and jailed as a party. There doesn’t seem to be a single actual AMERICAN in the bunch.

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