NewsCovering Colorado


Police investigate after ballot cast by dead voter

Watchdog group flagged suspected fraud in election complaint
Ballot Processing.jpeg
Posted at 2:51 PM, Nov 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-16 22:45:08-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — A suspected case of voter fraud in the Colorado Springs municipal election this past April has been referred to the police for investigation according to the City Attorney's Office.

The group Integrity Matters sent an email in late September to the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder that alleged multiple irregularities including two instances of ballots being returned by voters who had died months before the election.

City Attorney Wynetta Massey investigated, even though no formal complaint was submitted to the city. She released a report Tuesday detailing her findings.

She found the majority of claims made by Integrity Matters did not violate either the City Code or state election laws. Massey said one of the ballots mailed to a deceased voter was returned by the postal service indicating that the voter had died. The City Clerk's Office did not process or count that ballot.

"The other ballot in question has been referred to the Colorado Springs Police Department at the request of the City Clerk for investigation and potential criminal charges," Massey said in the report.

"Any alleged election violation resulting from these ballots being returned would be specific to the individual returning the ballot."

City Clerk Sarah Johnson said in a statement that trust in the election process is critical to democracy.

"I’m grateful that our Attorney’s Office chose to review this complaint. We take election security and our ballot processing very seriously," Johnson said. "We maintain high standards for our office and conduct our elections in accordance with the City of Colorado Springs City Election Code and the Colorado Municipal Election Code.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Integrity Matters submitted a formal complaint in September. The story has been updated to correctly reflect that the City Attorney investigated even though no formal complaint was received by the City.

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