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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    In Colorado, ‘confusion,’ ‘hysteria,’ and voters unregistering at some local election

    In Colorado, ‘confusion,’ ‘hysteria,’ and voters unregistering at some local election offices

    One local election head: “If you de-register, they win.”

    Corey Hutchins
    July 07, 2017

    Earlier this week, in the office of Boulder’s election division, workers were keeping a tally on sticky notes when voters started calling to cancel their registration or to become so-called confidential voters.

    Since Monday, according to official counts, the office has seen 270 of its voters cancel their registration. About 70 have asked for confidential status, in which they sign an affidavit saying they feel their safety is at risk.


    That is a seismic boom for an office that typically sees just a handful of such asks each week— if that, says Mircalla Wozniak, an elections division spokeswoman.


    The sticky notes in Boulder, since taken away by recycling, are the fluttering physical sign of a stark reality following a week that swept this state’s election officials into a swirl of controversy.


    Colorado is a state where its top elections manager, Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams, has welcomed a federal voter fraud task force’s request for input on potential federal policies. What has drawn greater controversy is that task force’s request
    that states provide the personal, but publicly available, information of voters.

    Williams says he is merely complying with state law— and he is— by giving Donald Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity the names, addresses, birth year, and party affiliation of all of Colorado’s 3.7 million voters.

    He has not denounced the commission or its vice chair Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as other Democratic and Republican election officials have.


    Response from the Colorado electorate has been overwhelmingly negative.


    Voters who fear their personal information heading to the hands of an administration they don’t trust have looked to a voter version of life hacks to thwart it.


    Related: Worried about your safety? You can keep your personal voter info secret in Colorado


    Election officials across the state are reporting a spike in voters requesting confidential status. Others are unregistering altogether with plans to sign back up after July 14 when Williams sends Colorado’s voter data to the feds.

    “There’s confusion, there’s hysteria,” says Amber McReynolds, the director of elections in Denver. In the past week her office has been flooded with calls and foot traffic.

    Denver has seen a 2,150 percent increase in voters cancelling their registration in recent days. There were 180 on July 6 alone.


    “In over 12 years of administering elections I never expected to see a day in the office where we would have more withdrawals than new registrations— and that happened yesterday,” she told The Colorado Independent. “So, it’s real.”


    In Arapahoe County, a mix of rural ranches and suburbia southeast of Denver, elections officials say they’ve seen an uptick in voters casting off their franchise.


    “Which is frustrating,” says Matt Crane, who heads up the elections office there. So far this whole year, 365 voters un-registered, he says after crunching the numbers. Roughly 42 percent of those came in the past week alone. “I think we all know why that is,” he says.


    In the past week, at least 40 voters signed up for confidential status. “From what we hear … they don’t want their information to be a part of the commission’s work,” Crane says.


    Frustration has been what voters are registering to their elections workers in Arapahoe County since news about Trump’s commission hit the newspapers, online sites, TV screens and airwaves. Crane says his message back to those voters has been to keep calm. He tells them it’s more important to stay registered and stay involved. “That’s the best way to let your voice be heard.”


    Down in Trump country, Colorado, the large conservative county of El Paso that encompasses Colorado Springs, things haven’t been so crazy, says spokeswoman Mattie Albert. But people have been coming in and the phones have been ringing. “We’re just taking the calls when we get them,” she says. Officials there aren’t keeping track of the changes to voter registration, she says.


    Move out east on the plains, away from the urban Front Range, and things are quieter.


    In Yuma, where the biggest news recently was Republican.

    U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner
    playing with squirt guns on his lawn the day before July 4, life around the clerk’s office has been business as usual.


    “It’s harvest time out here,” says Clerk Beverly Wenger, who isn’t sure how many people are paying that close attention to the latest news cycle out of D.C. or Denver. No flood of calls, no people at the door in Yuma. “Everybody is in the field and everybody is working,” she says.


    In Grand County, which encircles Granby and Hot Sulphur Springs to the west of Denver and has about 11,000 voters, about a dozen of them have switched to confidential status in recent days, according to an official there.


    Further west, in Mesa County, home to Grand Junction, the largest city between Denver and Salt Lake City, the elections office saw a pop of activity from voters in recent days. Sheila Reiner, who runs elections there, knows why. All the news about Trump’s election commission.


    “Our local newspaper and local media really picked up on it this week,” she says.


    And it had an impact. In all of 2016, her office had just 30 voters ask for confidential status. Just this week, 60 of them did.


    Because voters must fill out the form in person, Reiner gets to talk with them. Plenty, she says, told her they don’t think their personal information is any of the federal government’s business. If they ask about the downside of becoming a confidential voter, Reiner tells them they might get less mail or phone calls from political campaigns during election season.

    They like to hear that, she says. But another downside is voters can’t update their status online anymore if they move, or want to switch parties.


    “The people who are signing up for it don’t mind it,” she says.

    Up and to the left, in Colorado’s northwest county of Moffat, which borders Utah and Wyoming and has about 10,000 voters, it’s been a quieter week. Clerk Lila Herod says just one or two voters called or came in with questions.

    Back in bustling Denver, elections director McReynolds was looking at data. Her office, she says, has already seen a 790 percent increase in email communications from voters compared with last year, a 247 percent increase in phone calls, and a 1,833 percent increase in walk-ins.


    She also rounded up some comments from local voters.

    “Due to the decision to have my information given without my permission, I would like to have the form sent to me that allows me to unregister as a voter,” one said. “Please send ASAP.”

    Related: Unregistering: Another way to keep your Colorado voter info out of Trump’s database. But how awful is that?


    “I’m afraid to withdraw my voter registration because some law or rule may change in the interim that won’t allow me to register again,” wrote another.


    McReynolds says she responds to each one. Her message is she doesn’t want to lose voters.


    “If you de-register,” she says, “they win.”

    http://www.coloradoindependent.com/1...r-confidential

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    Worried about your safety? You can keep your personal voter info secret in Colorado

    Corey Hutchins
    July 03, 2017 Just In




    If you’re a voter in Colorado there are some things you should know.

    Colorado’s secretary of state, Wayne Williams, plans to give publicly available information about you to a federal commission set up by Donald Trump. It’s part of a nationwide voter-data dragnet ostensibly to investigate voter fraud.


    Related: Trump’s voter fraud task force wants personal information of Colorado voters


    But Williams has not pulled Colorado’s voter files yet as of July 3, according to his office. He has a July 14 deadline.


    If you’re a voter in Colorado, you should know what’s already publicly available. It’s your address, the year of your birth, which party you belong to or whether you’re unaffiliated, and when and where you voted in past elections and what those elections were. (Obviously who you voted for is secret.) That’s what Williams will turn over to Trump’s voter fraud task force, which is vice-chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.


    In Colorado, you can can keep this information confidential if you’re worried about your safety. And if you do it before Colorado pulls the voter file, Trump’s federal commission won’t get your info, according to the secretary of state’s office.


    The process, laid out in
    state law, is set up so voters who have safety concerns about their information being public can have their personal information suppressed. It’s called a request of confidentiality, and you can make one in person with your county clerk by filling out a form and paying a nominal fee.


    Here’s the language in the law:

    An individual may make the request of confidentiality … if such individual has reason to believe that such individual, or any member of such individual’s immediate family who resides in the same household as such individual, will be exposed to criminal harassment … or otherwise be in danger of bodily harm, if such individual’s address is not kept confidential.


    Immediately below the signature line, there shall be printed a notice, in a type that is larger than the other information contained on the form, that the applicant may be prosecuted for perjury in the second degree … if the applicant signs such affirmation and does not believe such affirmation to be true.

    According to Amber McReynolds, the director of elections in Denver, law enforcement officers, elected officials, judges, public figures, or those concerned about stalkers, are among those who typically file requests to keep their personal information from public view in their voter files.


    “The confidential status is broad,” she says of the profile of Colorado’s confidential voters. “There’s a lot of people who would fall under that.”


    Since news broke last week that Williams will turn over what’s already public to Trump’s new voter-fraud commission— and more voters in general learning just how public their own information is already— McReynolds says voters have been calling her office asking what they can do to keep it secret.


    “A lot more people are starting to file that,” she told The Colorado Independent about voter confidentiality requests.

    McReynolds says if a voter asks for confidentiality because of safety concerns, her office doesn’t investigate the claim or question their reasons.

    “There could be all kinds of things that sort of fall under a safety concern,” she says.


    In Mesa County, Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner says she hasn’t seen a recent uptick in voters wanting confidential status. But during the presidential election she did.


    “They didn’t want the phone calls,” she says of voters.


    Her office provides anyone who comes into the office asking to become a confidential voter with a form, she says. Doing so costs $5. She said the clerk’s office lets voters know it’s meant for people who fear harassment, adding, “There’s nothing we do to follow up or verify anything.”


    Pam Anderson, director of the County Clerks Association in Colorado, says voters should be aware that they are signing an affidavit when they request confidentiality for safety reasons, but it’s not the role of a county clerk’s office to question a voter about those concerns.


    The process for becoming a confidential voter in Colorado is fairly quick, she says, and could take effect by the next day barring a busy election cycle.


    And while confidential voters likely won’t be getting as much mail from political campaigns once their information is suppressed, they will still get election information from their county.


    Says Anderson: “You will still be mailed your ballot.”

    http://www.coloradoindependent.com/1...-public-secret

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Unregistering: Another way to keep your Colorado voter info out of Trump’s database. How awful is that?

    Corey Hutchins
    July 06, 2017




    When Bob Reinhart, a 64-year-old retiree in Lakewood, heard Colorado’s GOP secretary of state Wayne Williams was planning to send personal information about him to a presidential election commission set up by Donald Trump, he was concerned.

    “I know that this list is being requested by someone who has a history of promoting violence against any of his opponents,” he told
    The Colorado Independent, adding, “I assume that they’ll be cross-referencing this list with many other lists and deciding who’s friend and who’s foe.”


    So when Reinhart found out there was a way to keep that information confidential for safety reasons, he took action. On July 5, he and his wife travelled to the local DMV in Lakewood and signed up to become confidential voters, he said.


    The Lakewood couple might not be alone.


    A brief glance at social media in recent days since Williams’ announcement shows some Colorado voters looking for ways to keep their name, birth year, address, party affiliation and voting history out of the hands of an administration they don’t exactly trust.


    Related: Worried about your safety? You can keep your personal voter info secret in Colorado


    At issue is a commission Trump set up ostensibly to investigate voter fraud after he made an unfounded claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election that he won.


    That commission last week asked election officials in each state to turn over publicly available personal information about each of their voters. Williams plans to send the information at 8 a.m. on July 14, according to his office spokesperson. That information, Williams explained, is already public under state law and anyone can ask for it. It includes a voter’s full name, address, party affiliation, year of birth, and when and where they voted. It does not include who someone voted for because the Secretary of State doesn’t know that information and it certainly is not public.


    Reinhart hopes becoming a confidential voter will keep his own information from winding up in a Trump database. The DMV worker with whom he dealt told him there could be a seven- to 14-day lag time, he said.


    “I said, ‘Well, we’ll roll the dice on that,’” Reinhart said. But he’s also considering another option.


    The Colorado secretary of state’s office on Wednesday confirmed that if a voter
    un-registers before Williams pulls the state’s public voting files, and then re-registers afterwards, his or her information won’t go to Trump’s commission.


    “We are only sending the current voter file, as of July 14, 2017,” says Lynn Bartels, spokeswoman for the Colorado secretary of state.


    While becoming a confidential voter must be done in person, can cost $5, and requires that you sign an affidavit under the threat of perjury that you fear for your safety, in Colorado voters can un-register and re-register online— and fairly quickly.


    But here’s something to think about: Some worry Trump’s task force on voter fraud— in-person voter fraud is very rare in the United States— is really about intimidating voters or suppressing the vote. And if you believe that, wouldn’t you think voters cancelling their franchise is exactly what an entity aimed at voter-suppression would want?


    That’s one of the reasons Reinhart says un-registering to vote gives him pause. “What happens if someone changes the rules?” he says about trying to re-register.


    Elena Nunez, the director of Colorado Common Cause who works on election issues, calls it a striking indictment on Trump’s commission that it already might be leading people to unregister to vote.


    “I think it’s a tragic reaction to a commission that’s trying to make it more difficult to vote to have people choose to disenfranchise themselves potentially,” she says. Colorado voters, she hopes, will pay attention to policies the commission might adopt in the long term, because they will affect voters who end up in the Trump commission database just as much as those who don’t.


    Asked about how her organization might advise voters who want their data kept out of the Trump commission’s hands, Nancy Crow, president of the League of Women Voters of Colorado, declined to say.


    “We just look at this as another way of suppressing votes, period,” she said about the Trump election panel. “We don’t believe the commission should have existed in the first place.”

    There is no widespread voter fraud but there is voter suppression, Crow says, citing a rash of state voter-ID laws and the gutting of early voting and same-day registration in some states.

    National election law expert Rick Hasen
    says he believes the endgame of the Trump commission that “includes a rogue’s gallery of the country’s worst voter suppressors” could be to pass federal legislation to “make it harder for people to register and vote.”


    It should be noted that if you become a confidential voter— or un-register— doing so does not mean your voting information will retroactively disappear from public or private databases that already have obtained it. Political parties, governments, consultants, private companies—
    anyone, really— can potentially already have a file with your voting information in it.

    So far, 14 states and Washington, D.C. have refused the Trump commission’s request for publicly available information on their voters, according to Kobach. Republican secretaries of state from Louisiana to Arizona have declined to comply.

    Mississippi’s GOP secretary of state Delbert Hosemann told the commission to “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”


    Responding to an uproar that engulfed his office since the news broke last week, Colorado Secretary Williams held a Wednesday news conference in which he reiterated how he is handling the request for information. He is not giving anything to the commission that isn’t already public under the law, he said.


    Related: Trump’s voter fraud task force wants personal information of Colorado voters


    Speaking from a lectern in a conference room surrounded by reporters and TV cameras, Williams did not cast doubt on the goals and aims of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and co-chaired by Kansas GOP Secretary of State Kris Kobach. He said he was glad a federal panel wanted input from the states.


    Asked about concerns that the commission might have nefarious intentions, Williams said such worries are not related to Colorado’s obligation to respond under the law. He says he knows “a number of people” on the commission, both Republicans and Democrats.


    “I believe that there is going to be an effort to look at the breadth of the challenges we face in the election area,” Williams said. “Having said that, are there some on the commission who have a particular thing that they are more concerned about than others? I suspect that’s probably true.”

    http://www.coloradoindependent.com/1...ential-colorao

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    Hundreds Un-register to Vote Following Trump's Voter Fraud Panel Info Request


    (AP)

    By Wanda Carruthers |
    Saturday, 08 Jul 2017 02:52 PM


    One state is seeing hundreds of people un-register to vote in what is perhaps an unintended consequence of the request by President Donald Trump's Commission on Election Integrity asking states to submit details about voters, The Hill reported Saturday.

    The commission a week ago requested that all states upload publicly available voter information to a federal website, including names, birth dates, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and party affiliation.

    But, some voters in Colorado are balking at the request, and one Denver clerk has seen a 2,150 percent increase in voters requesting their information be withdrawn, Denver's ABC affiliate reported. Hundreds so far in Colorado have dropped their voter registration.


    Colorado does offer voters the option of paying a fee to make their information confidential.

    Forty-four states said they would not fully comply with the request over privacy concerns for their citizens. Colorado is complying with the request and will release all publicly available information, but will not provide Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, full date of birth or email addresses.


    The commission requested voter's full name, address, date of birth, political party affiliation, the last four digits of their Social Security number, which elections they have voted in since 2006, felony convictions, whether they are also registered in other states, military status, and whether they live overseas.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Vote...0568/?src=ilaw




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    Can I make my Colorado voter information confidential?

    Blair Miller 1:59 PM, Jul 5, 2017
    9:11 AM, Jul 6, 2017



    2012 Getty Images
    ALEX WONG


    DENVER – If you’re concerned about what the Trump administration’s controversial Election Integrity Commission might do with your personal voting records when Colorado hands over what it’s legally bound to do later this month, there are a few remedies, but you have to meet certain criteria to have your information be made confidential.

    Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams reiterated Wednesday
    that he would hand over to the commission what he is already required to give to anyone under state law: a voter’s full name, address, party affiliation and date the person registered, phone number, gender identity, birth year, and information about if a person has voted in prior elections.

    He said he wouldn’t hand over a voter’s Social Security number or full date of birth—two things the commission requested but will not get, as those things are not public record in Colorado.

    It's possible to de-register to vote, though the Denver Elections Division advises against doing so.


    Williams also discussed the state’s confidential voter program, which allows certain people—mainly domestic violence victims or stalking—to sign a document saying their information shouldn’t be released because doing so would be a risk to their safety. Lying on the document would make a person subject to perjury charges. Some law enforcement officers may be covered under certain circumstances, especially those working undercover.


    Those petitioning for the voter protections will have to pay $5 when they turn their application in to their local county or city clerks’ office.


    There is also a similar program called the Address Confidentiality Program, which applies mostly to domestic violence victims, stalking victims, and victims of sexual assault.


    “Colorado’s confidential voter program is based through the law, not a fiat from the secretary of state or something else,” Williams said. “It’s based on attestation from the individual, under oath, that they meet one of the criteria.”

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...n-confidential

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    The Center for Immigration Studies has declared Colorado, along with California, as sanctuary states.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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