In what already has the making of a complicated statewide
election, the secretary of state’s office found 55,000 names
registered multiple times for the election. This gives an
opportunity for potential voter fraud, but state officials believe
proper action is being taken to correct the problem.
On Oct. 1, the secretary of state’s office discovered the
Lisa Duran, public information specialist for the secretary of
state, said a Colorado state law and human error combined to create
“There is an eight-year period where state law requires all
voters to remain active in any previous county they are
registered,” Duran said. “The secretary of state’s office sends a
list each month with registration updates to the county clerk’s
offices. This process in theory would omit any names from being
Duran said county clerk’s offices sometimes neglect to make the
updates, because of large monthly lists. An extended effort is
being made by the state and county offices to remove all duplicate
names since discovering the setback, she said.
Scott Doyle, Larimer County clerk, has kept an updated listing
and is confident the county will be ready on Election Day. Doyle
has seen a number of names come up twice or more when adding new
“Here in Larimer County we have probably come across 1,000
duplicate entries,” Doyle said. “(The county Clerk and Recorder’s
Office) has reason to believe that there might be two possible
instances of fraud, but mostly it’s just people registering voters
to make a couple extra bucks, signing up a few people multiple
times in the process.”
Doyle said Colorado will have a smooth election, despite all of
the possible setbacks.
Mark Eddy, spokesman for Colorado FairVote.org, feels the same
“The way elections work, there are checks and balances in place
to keep these people from voting multiple times at the polls,” Eddy
said. “And while there are always a small group of people who try
to circumvent the law, there is no reason to believe this election
will be manipulated by this limited few.”
Others are not so quick to give their trust. Al Kolwicz,
executive director of Citizens for Accurate Mail Ballot Election,
said that if citizens are able to vote in two different counties or
even different states, they might take liberty and challenge the
“Some citizens have second homes, while others, such as
students, may be registered at home and at school. With no national
database to detect people registered in separate states, they might
attempt to vote twice,” Kolwicz said.
Doyle said Colorado citizens would be advised to stay out of
Larimer County if they have aspirations of voting twice, as they
will be met with a heavy hand and a stern resolve.
“We are all about people voting, but we are also about safe,
verifiable results. If you get caught trying to work the system by
me, I’m going to bust your ass for it,” Doyle said.
The state hopes to have a conclusive answer to this problem in
future elections. The Help America Vote Act is a federal program
that will take effect in 2006. The program is a centralized state
system that updates voter registration in all counties
technologically through the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“This is going to make life a lot easier in the next election,
and we’ll all be very thankful for it,” Duran said.