DENVER – More than 5,300 Coloradans have withdrawn their voter registration over the past month, new figures from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office showed Monday as the office prepares to send voter roll information over to President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams will send the information over to the controversial commission by the end of business Monday, his office confirmed.
Williams has said since the day after the request first came in that he would only send the commission what was allowable 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.
The commission had also requested two things that Colorado won’t hand over: a voter’s Social Security number and a voter’s birth date—things that aren’t public record in Colorado.
Colorado has seen among the highest number of voter registration withdrawals in response to the commission’s request, which some have framed as being no more than an attempt to disenfranchise or suppress voters.
The commission, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, was formed by President Trump after his repeated, yet unfounded, claims that millions of people had voted illegally in last year’s election.
As of Friday, 5,314 voters in Colorado had withdrawn their voter registrations since June 28, the day the commission made its first request, and another 246 had become confidential voters—something Colorado allows people to do if they are victims of domestic violence or could be threatened by having their address made public.
That was up from the 3,738 who had withdrawn their registrations as of July 17, and the 200 who had become confidential voters.
As of Friday’s numbers, nearly 87 percent of those who had withdrawn their registrations in Colorado were registered as either Democrats or unaffiliated voters. Just 11 percent were Republicans.
Still, Williams again reiterated last week that he wanted any voters who had withdrawn to re-register—something that can be done online.
He added that he’d seen no evidence that any who withdrew weren’t eligible to vote.
“Clearly we wouldn’t be asking them to re-register if we didn’t believe they were eligible,” he said.
And though Williams said last week the commission had adopted some changes he’d sought after its initial request, including changing how the information would be transferred, not everyone has been as pleased with the commission.
Sen. Michael Bennet and Reps. Jared Polis and Diana DeGette have all sent letters to the commission balking at its request and calling for it to be scrutinized over its true motives.
Bennet said the commission should be disbanded altogether, calling the commission a “taxpayer-funded fishing expedition” that he said was “eroding trust and confidence in our democratic institutions.”
But the commission’s vice chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, said in a letter to Williams last week that the commission’s only motive is to enhance the integrity of American elections.
“This commission will approach all of its work without preconceived conclusions or prejudgments. The members of this bipartisan commission are interested in gathering facts and going where those facts lead,” Kobach wrote.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has maintained that there is not widespread voter fraud in Colorado, and noted only 18 convictions or pending cases since 2000 in the state. Williams has also said that the information the commission is getting can't verify the accuracy of voter rolls.