We’ve been bringing you the story of two largely Democratic Colorado counties told by the new Republican Secretary of State not to send ballots this year to everyone who normally gets one. That list includes inactive voters, people who didn’t vote in the November 2010 election and who haven’t re-upped since then. In the case of Pueblo County, Secretary of State Scott Gessler told the clerk not to send ballots to about 75 troops overseas who were considered inactive voters. After a court ruling for voting rights last week, both Denver and Pueblo moved ahead with sending their ballots. And so, it turns out, did seven other largely Democratic counties. Republican counties are holding back. They cite the cost:
In heavily Republican Weld and El Paso counties, clerks decided that rate of return wasn’t worth the expense. El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams said it would cost his office about $1 a ballot to mail to each of the county’s 63,000 inactive voters. Weld County Clerk and Recorder Steve Moreno put his total cost at about $30,000 for roughly 24,000 ballots. “I’m not sure that money is spent wisely,” Moreno said.Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who tried to stop Denver and Pueblo counties from sending ballots to inactive voters, says only about 4 percent of them turn their ballots back in. If you don’t send them one in the first place, their rate of participation stands to drop even lower. In a close election, that could matter. A little more: Denver’s inactive voters are concentrated in Hispanic neighborhoods.
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Colorado clerk: Inactive voters not worth the cost