State officials out of Colorado have claimed that they accidentally mailed out roughly 30,000 postcards this past month to noncitizens explaining to them the process they should follow to register to vote.
First brought to light via Colorado Public Radio News, Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s office claimed that the employees of the department had sent the postcards out as of Sept. 27 in the wake of comparing a list of 102,000 names collected by the Electronic Registration Information Center, which is a nonprofit group which seeks to improve U.S. voter roll and helping residents to actually vote.
“The Department has become aware that approximately 30,000 EBU [Eligible But Unregistered] postcard mailers were incorrectly sent to ineligible Coloradans,” stated one spokesperson out of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to the areas media. “The office is undertaking an internal review of the incident and will take any corrective action that is warranted.”
Griswold made sure to highlight that noncitizens would not be able to actually register to vote.
The postcards in question, which were printed by the office in both Spanish and English, stated, “A message from Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold . . . Our records indicate that you or your household may be eligible to vote, but do not appear to be registered at your current address.”
The mailers included that in order to vote, the residents must be over 18 years old by Election Day, a Colorado resident for at least 22 days before the upcoming election, and a United States citizen, according to the reporting outlet Colorado Public Radio News.
Griswold’s office stated that they are going to mail out additional correction mailers to the 30,000 false recipients, “reminding them that only those that meet the above requirements are eligible to register.”
According to local media outlets, while the office had compared the list of potential unregistered voters to records coming from the local DMV, the data had included those who had Colorado driver’s licenses which are issued by the state because a person need not be a citizen to drive legally.
However, the DMV system failed to discern their eligibility to vote.
The director of the Voting Rights Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, Sean Morales-Doyle, explained to The Journal that the system actually making such a mistake ensures that it works.
“It should show, first of all, that mistakes can happen, but secondly that there are checks in place to make sure mistakes don’t result in disaster,” stated Morales-Doyle. “It’s not good this happened. It appears to be a case of human error and a database error and not some conspiracy, which I think some critics would seize on.”
Morales-Doyle concluded with the fact that just a small number of these noncitizens had tried to register to vote due to concerns regarding legal consequences, up to and including deportation.