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Citizen voters frantic after receiving Gessler challenge letter

August 28, 2012

Legally registered voters are frantically contacting the ACLU of Colorado after receiving a letter from Secretary of State Scott Gessler asking them to either affirm their citizenship and supply proof – or remove themselves from the voter rolls.

“These individuals became citizens before registering to vote,” said Denise Maes, Public Policy Director at the ACLU of Colorado. “Mr. Gessler has no business intimidating model law-abiding citizens living and working in Colorado with his letter that risks discouraging voters from exercising their right to vote.”

Gessler mailed between 3,000 and 4,000 voters letters challenging their voter eligibility earlier this month and has scheduled a public meeting for Wednesday, August 29, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. to determine next steps.

“Mr. Gessler has no authority to move forward with this nor to do anything about the individuals that do not respond,” Maes said. “No one is legally required to respond to Mr. Gessler’s fishing expedition.”

Gessler has not produced one verifiable case of voter fraud – but is clearly intimidating legally registered voters, as evidenced by the number of citizens who have contacted the ACLU of Colorado, including:

Veronica Figoli. Ms. Figoli came to the U.S. from Venezuela in 1999 as a student and has since built a successful career as a marketing and communications specialist. She did not register to vote until she became a citizen in November 2011. “I’ve done everything for this country. But this letter makes me feel that no matter what I do I’ll always be a second class citizen.”

Charmaine Rose. Ms. Rose is a government attorney in Colorado. Originally from Canada, Rose came to the U.S. in 2000 on a work visa as an engineer. Following the completion of her studies, she chose to practice law in the U.S. and became a citizen in March 2012. She registered to vote immediately following the ceremony. “I am outraged that taxpayer funds are being used in such a wasteful manner.”

Markus Mayer. Born in Germany, Mr. Mayer moved to the U.S. in 2000 and has been working in Colorado as an IT specialist since 2006. Secretary of State Scott Gessler himself encouraged the new citizens at Meyer’s naturalization ceremony in November 2011 to register to vote. Mayer took Gessler’s advice and registered to vote in December 2011 but recently found himself forced to affirm his citizenship after receiving a letter from Gessler. “I am frustrated and disgusted with the whole matter.”

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