By Peak News Contributor Dave Diepenbrock
We know how easy it is to commit voter fraud in Colorado. Here are some questions for thought:
Where is voter fraud more likely to occur?
Uncovering voter fraud starts with finding names on voter lists who are no longer around. To narrow the search, look at counties with high ratios of inactive voters to active voters.
Eight counties stand out:
The ratio (that is, the number of inactive voters divided by the number of active voters, county-by-county) creates a percentage that is more than one standard deviation above the average ratio. They are led by Summit where the inactive voter ratio is 96.7%. The statewide ratio is 60.6%.
These counties' voter lists have so many inactives because these counties, since 2008, have transferred many more voters OFF their active voter lists than elsewhere in Colorado.
Why the loss of so many active voters since 2008? When you vote, you stay an active voter. If you don't, you generally become inactive. Youth and mobility decrease voting; income and educational attainment increase voting. Census data show no common socioeconomic conditions among these eight counties. Household income ranges from $45k to $65k; the under-25 age group ranges from under 5% to over 17% of total population; college degree holders range from 20% to nearly 50%; the likelihood they will move ranges from 21% to 47%. Cluster analysis, combining all these factors, fails to group these counties together. None of these factors can statistically explain the large decline in active voters in these counties.
Add another point. If 2010's turnout (measured against adult population in these eight counties) had matched turnout in the rest of the state, this group of counties would still have experienced an anomalous loss of active voters. The genesis of this abnormal “inactive to active” ratio happened in 2008 (not in 2010's customary lower turnout).
So, these counties either lost active voters because, disproportionately, these voters don't care about elections OR because they were non-existent persons or already vanished voters back in 2008.
What changes in election law and practice could reduce voter fraud?
Every county on the list above has more active Democrats than Republicans and voted for both Obama and Bennet. Being Democratic-leaning is what unites these eight counties.
Colorado politics changed because of an influx of Soros-type money and Acorn-type activities between 2000 and 2008. Adjusting for changes in adult populations, these counties saw turnout growth of 28.1%. The rest of the state's turnout grew a more modest 17.7%. Looking only at this growth, we could give Democrats an attaboy for their turnout hustle. But when we add in the very large subsequent drop in active registrations in these eight counties, we can reasonably ask, “Was it better turnout … or fraudulent voting?” (Our system, sadly, doesn't detect probable fraud until many months later.)
Fixing Our Problem
- By law treat government-issued photo IDs and other identification methods differently. Show a drivers license or passport, and you're golden. Offer another ID, and your ballot is provisional (and will be counted once verified). Explain to these provisional voters how provisional ballots are handled.
- Clean our voter lists; give election officers adequate funding. (Indiana compares voters to Indiana drivers and, for the final four Social Security number digits, to that database as well.) Treat each voter whose address of registration doesn't match the Postal Service's national change of address database as provisional, unless the voter shows a government-issued photo ID.
- Use signature verification software for all ballots in Colorado. Require a uniform statewide verification standard that creates a mandatory level of questionable ballots – and publicize the standard, the actual performance by county and legislative district and the demographics of non-verified signatures.
No righteous voter has a burden here. Most Colorado voters won't even see these changes – except when writing drivers license numbers on mail-in ballot envelopes. Every voter can still vote.
Note on statistics: All these darned facts come from an analysis of voter file numbers and previous election reports (Secretary of State) or US Census/Colorado State Demographer numbers. I created databases to look for similar sized shifts away from active voters in other years; nothing matched the massive shift post-2008. Prior years' information, whether election turnouts going back to 1996 or active and inactive voter numbers going back before the 2004 election do not diminish this dominating event.