Pueblo County cracking down on voter fraud with Election Day looming

Published: Oct. 12, 2018 at 6:09 PM MDT
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Midterm ballots are going to be mailed out starting next week. In Pueblo County, they’re doing their part to prevent voter fraud.

It all starts with something as simple as your signature. You sign it when you register and then you also have to sign your ballot before turning it in.

Once that ballot gets to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, they’re trained to look for any discrepancies in the two.

Since November 2015, more than 200,000 ballots have been cast. In that time, only 1,100 have been considered suspect. When that happens, the ballots get sent to the district attorney’s office, and staff there try to figure out what’s going on.

“In some cases, people told us that they were driving down the street when they were signing the ballot so their signature was different, but it was, in fact, their ballot,” said Jeff Chostner, the Pueblo County district attorney. “We’ve had others say that they were ill or they were in the hospital and they were recovering.”

Out of those 1,100 that were considered suspect, the district attorney’s office did press charges against one individual, and that person did get a conviction. That person had to pay a $500 fine but got no jail time.

Both the district attorney and clerk and recorder say that voter fraud isn’t a problem in Pueblo County, and it’s because of the work done after the election to make sure all votes are legal.

“We want to make sure that people know that when they are voting and they’re casting their vote, that it counts, and that the integrity of Colorado's -- and Pueblo’s especially -- voting system is intact,” said Gilbert Ortiz, the clerk and recorder of Pueblo County.

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