Thou­sands can­cel reg­is­tra­tions

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul Jesse Paul: 303-954-1733, jpaul@den­ver­post.com or @JesseAPaul

Hun­dreds of Repub­li­can and un­af­fil­i­ated vot­ers in Colorado are among the nearly 4,000 peo­ple who have can­celed their voter reg­is­tra­tions in the wake of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­quest for voter in­for­ma­tion.

The Colorado Sec­re­tary of State’s Of­fice re­ported Mon­day that of the 3,738 peo­ple who with­drew their reg­is­tra­tions be­tween June 28 and Fri­day, 367 are Repub­li­cans and 1,255 are un­af­fil­i­ated vot­ers. Just over 2,000 Democrats have also can­celed their reg­is­tra­tions.

The can­cel­la­tions are just a mi­nus­cule frac­tion of the state’s 3.7 mil­lion reg­is­tered vot­ers. But the fig­ure is strik­ing nonethe­less, with some county elec­tion of­fi­cials re­port­ing that they’ve never seen any­thing quite like it in their ca­reers.

The with­drawals be­gan in earnest ear­lier this month, af­ter a pres­i­den­tial ad­vi­sory com­mis­sion on elec­tion in­tegrity re­quested pub­licly avail­able voter in­for­ma­tion from all 50 states. On July 10 alone, 1,237 vot­ers with­drew their reg­is­tra­tions.

An­other 200 Colorado vot­ers have signed up to be­come “con­fi­den­tial vot­ers,” a des­ig­na­tion that al­lows their in­for­ma­tion to be with­held.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump es­tab­lished the ad­vi­sory com­mis­sion in May with a man­date to re­view U.S. elec­tion in­tegrity, with a fo­cus on voter fraud, voter sup­pres­sion and other “vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties.” But the ef­fort has been clouded by pri­vacy con­cerns and dis­trust from the start.

Sec­re­tary of State Wayne Wil­liams, along with dozens of other sec­re­taries of state across the coun­try, has said he will pro­vide only in­for­ma­tion con­sid­ered pub­lic un­der Colorado law, a cat­e­gory that in­cludes vot­ers’ names, ad­dresses, party af­fil­i­a­tions, birth years and which elec­tions they have par­tic­i­pated in.

The com­mis­sion’s re­quest is on hold while a le­gal chal­lenge plays out in court.

On Fri­day, Wil­liams sent a let­ter to the com­mis­sion say­ing the state’s elec­tion sys­tem works well and that a blan­ket re­quest for voter in­for­ma­tion isn’t an ef­fec­tive way to seek out fraud.

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