SOUTHERN COLORADO — For several weeks, President Donald Trump has claimed the election was stolen from him due to widespread voter fraud across the nation, but are there any cases of voter fraud locally?
The 10th and 4th Judicial Districts have the largest populations in our KOAA News 5 viewing area (southern Colorado).
News 5 Investigates sent inquiries to both Pueblo County 10th Judicial District Attorney Jeff Chostner and El Paso-Teller County 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen to find out how many cases of voter fraud are being investigated by their offices.
Out of more than 450,000 registered voters in El Paso County, possible voter fraud appears non-existent.
"There have been no criminal cases open from the November election," Howard Black, the lead spokesperson for the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office said.
10th Judicial District Attorney Jeff Chostner confirmed there is at least 1 case of voter fraud his office is currently looking into---but nowhere close to having any impact on the 2020 presidential race.
Signature verification vs. voter fraud:
Chostner wants the public to know there is a major difference between signature verification checks that his office routinely conducts and actual voter fraud criminal investigations.
"I’ve reviewed over 200,000 ballots since coming into Office in 2013," Chostner said via email. "We have a number in the Office now from the November 2020 election. As with the vast, vast majority of the cases, they do not involve fraud but illegible signatures that need to be cured by the voter. In almost every case, they are. Each case like this gets a call from one of my investigators. The voter certifies that was their signature and the Clerk and Recorder makes note of that."
Chostner says since taking office in 2013, he's prosecuted one case of voter fraud.
"With regard to actual fraud, that is the voting of one person without authorization by another, is almost non-existent," Chostner said. "We are investigating at least one of those currently. There may be others as we have not completed our review of the ballots sent to us by the Clerk and Recorder. However, based on past history, I don’t expect many more, if any."
Q: How is voter fraud investigated?
A: The first line of defense in catching voter fraud starts with the Clerk and Recorder's Office. When that office detects any suspicious activity regarding ballots and votes being cast, they can ask their local District Attorney's Office to review the matter. The DA's Office will then investigate the case and determine whether there is evidence of a crime. From there, charges may be filed.
Q: You mentioned there are 450,000 registered voters in El Paso County. Where did you get this data from?
A: Registered voter statistics can be found by visiting your local Clerk and Recorder's web site. If data is not published online, it is a public record and can be retrieved by calling or email the Clerk's Office directly.
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