DENVER – Democrats and unaffiliated voters in Colorado have made up the overwhelming majority of the people who have withdrawn their voter registrations or become confidential voters in the state in response to the Trump administration’s request for voter roll information on behalf of its controversial election integrity commission.
By the end of day Friday, 3,738 Colorado voters had withdrawn their registration, and 200 had become confidential voters—something people in Colorado can do by signing a sworn affidavit at their county clerk’s office saying they could be in danger by having their addresses made public.
Of the voters who have withdrawn their registrations, 88 percent are either Democrats or unaffiliated voters—54.5 percent Democrats and 33.5 percent unaffiliated voters. Just 9.8 percent of the withdrawn registrations came from Republicans.
And a full 94.5 percent of those who have become confidential voters are either registered as Democrats or as unaffiliated voters. Just 4.5 percent of people who have become confidential voters since the commission first made its request on June 28 were Republicans.
Though party affiliations in Colorado are close to one-third each of Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters, unaffiliated voters make up the greatest share in the state, and there are a few thousand more registered Democrats than Republicans.
There were an average of 134 registration withdrawals per week from the week of March 1 through June 25, according to the secretary of state.
But in the subsequent weeks, withdrawals went up significantly, as these charts show:
Most of the registration withdrawals since June 28 have been chalked up to the commission’s vice chair’s request, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ saying that he’d hand over the voter roll information that he’s required to under state law.
In Colorado, that means he’s required to send 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.
But Williams still hasn’t sent over any of the information, as the commission asked last week that no states send the voter roll information over until a federal lawsuit in Washington D.C. is decided. More response deadlines in that case were expected Monday.
There are more than 3.3 million active registered voters in Colorado, meaning that the number of withdrawals amounts to about 0.1 percent of the state’s total voting population.
Williams said last week that he hopes those people who have withdrawn will again register after the voter roll information is sent over—if it is at all.
The commission is set to have its first meeting on Wednesday.
The Washington Post reported Monday that among the documents released in another lawsuit against the commission, this one on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union, was one in which Kobach told President Trump’s transition team that the commission was putting together legislative proposals to make voter registration requirements stricter.
Kobach has in the past pushed for similar provisions involving citizenship requirements for voters in his home state of Kansas, where he is secretary of state—some of which have already been struck down in federal courts.
An elections expert from Loyola Law School told The Post that the newly-unveiled letter means that the election integrity commission, which was only formed after President Trump claimed, without any proof, that millions of people voted illegally in last years election, was only further proof that the commission was trying to restrict voter access.
Williams, as have many others, has repeatedly said that voter fraud in the U.S. is extremely rare.
He noted in a letter to Kobach on Friday in which he outlined Colorado’s voter system that there were only 18 election-related crime cases prosecuted or under investigation in Colorado since November 2000. He also said that the information the commission requested wouldn't be able to be used to verify the accuracy of voter rolls in the U.S., as most states are withholding some of the information the commission requested--including Kobach's own Kansas.
More than 2.8 million people cast ballots in last year’s general election alone.