A couple weeks ago I proudly wrote about my wife's voter registration effort here in Colorado. Her small group of volunteers operating out of the Aurora office has registered over 1200 hispanic voters in the Denver-Aurora, CO area in a space of about three weeks. This makes them one of the most successful such groups in the entire state.
Well upon checking with the Colorado Secretary of State's office (headed by republican Mike Coffman, currently running for Tom Tancredo's congressional seat CO-06), we found that my wife's own registration update is not listed. We became concerned because the deadline for the state to get the mail-in ballots into voters hands was today and it never came.
Follow below the fold for document scans and details.
Now my wife is not just any hack, she is an attorney, a foreign attorney, but an attorney nonetheless. She is unbelievably meticulous when it comes to any kind of document preparation. I think it's fair to say that as an attorney, foreign or otherwise, having well prepared and ordered documents is her stock and trade.
She (with a bit of assistance from me) worked very hard to do those registrations, sitting for hours in the hot sun with no shade in front of latin markets all over the Denver-Aurora area.
Among those registrations, was her own registration which was a change to permanent mail-in balloting. We became suspicious when a full three weeks after she filed her own registration she never received a mail-in ballot nor any kind of confirmation from the Secretary of State's office. All we did get was a robocall from Michelle Obama informing us that in a few days we would be receiving the mail-in ballot and to be sure that she fills it out and sends it in right away.
We took that as a sign that the campaign was aware that she had signed up for mail-in balloting and that the forms must have been processed by the campaign and turned in to the Secretary of State. We presume that this robocall would not have informed us with certitude that we would be receiving a mail-in ballot if it were simply a random call to voters.
Here is a scan of the actual registration receipt from my wife's form.
and the link to the full sized scan
Note the date of the registration, 9/27/2008 nearly a month ago
And here is a scan of a screenshot of the actual registration as recorded on the Colorado Secretary of State's Website
And the link to the full size scan
Now note the date, 10/21/2005, three years ago. This is her original Colorado registration. Nearly a month after this update was turned in, and it still has not been logged by the Secretary of State. The deadline for getting the ballots to the voters (not the deadline for mailing them out) was supposed to be today. No update on the website (which should have happened before it was mailed out), and no ballot in the mailbox.
My wife has been approached by at least one other recently registered hispanic voter who has also not yet received her mail-in ballot. They had decided to wait until today to address this because today was the deadline for when they were supposed to receive their ballots.
The lady who approached my wife does not speak much english and as is often the case with hispanic voters of limited english, was somewhat timid. They are often reluctant to raise these issues with pardon the term, gringos. This is beginning to smell. Anyone in Colorado knows these people of limited english can be easily bullied and this could very well be what's going on here.
These forms are in spanish and it could be that the Secretary of state figures he can get away with this because he knows people filing these spanish forms have limited ability to fight.
He may not have been counting on a mixed marriage couple like us. I'll be damned if we are going to lie down and take this. But after calling the local campaign office I got a confused and I hate to say, but rather unprepared campaign worker. All she could do is say call the Denver office tomorrow. Well I'm not waiting.
Like many spanish speaking immigrants married to Americans, my wife depends on her gringo husband to help with this kind of thing. After 13 years of marriage I have learned that these people are often marginalized, not taken seriously, or taken advantage of by people in positions of power who have no compunctions about preying on the weak. I've experience it first hand dozens of times. But they are rarely counting on someone standing up to them, and I'm happy to do it.
But in this case, I need help getting this in front of the campaign. If these two registrations have been ignored, how many other of those 1200 have been "lost" as well, all of them perhaps? We don't know if this is pervasive or isolated, but two in this rather small group of her friends is actually a pretty big percentage. It is very worrisome. My wife can vote anyway by going to the polls, because she had a pre-existing registration, but she is a rare exception, and the lady who approached her does not have that option. Almost all of these voters that she has been registering are first time voters, and none of them will be able to vote if this has happened to them as well.
Please help me alert the campaign to what is going on here. There is very little time left to act, I don't want to just leave this hanging until tomorrow. If there is anyone in the campaign above the rank of peon who sees this, please contact us or look into it directly, or pass it up the chain immediately.
Thanks in advance Kossacks! I know you won't let me down.