Gonzalez Condemns Reckless Accusations That Threaten Citizens’ Voting Rights
Spetember 12, 2012 (Washington, DC) – After hearing that Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler admitted finding no evidence to support his claims that there were thousands of non-citizens registered to vote in Colorado, Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez (TX-20), Ranking Member of the House of Representatives’s Subcommittee on Elections, issued the following statement:
“Last spring, Colorado Secretary of State Gessler was celebrated by the Republican leadership of the Committee on House Administration for his shocking claim that he had found 4,000 non-citizens on the voter rolls in Colorado. Now, Mr. Gessler’s office admits that he has found ‘no confirmed non-citizens.’ He recklessly accused Americans of fraud and denied their citizenship.
“While I challenged Mr. Gessler’s claims last year, it’s important that we pay particular attention to what has just happened. Once again, loudly trumpeted claims of evidence of voter fraud have proven to be baseless. Obvious flaws, like those I pointed out at the time, are ignored, and innocent people are blamed for the clerical errors of others. In spite of this record, every new claim – whether in South Carolina or Florida (using the same discredited practice as Colorado) or Texas – receives unwarranted media attention despite the fact that you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than to find the fraud that voter ID laws and similar measures are supposed to stop. They can’t find this fraud because it doesn’t exist.
“These facts may not be important to people like Mr. Gessler or Florida Governor Rick Scott, but they matter to me. When government officials abuse their positions, waste millions in taxpayer dollars on these wild goose chases, and, most importantly, threaten the constitutionally protected and guaranteed right to vote of American citizens, the rest of us must stand up. Our forefathers fought a revolution for the right to vote for their representatives. Within living memory, men and women have died for that right. When someone threatens any citizen’s right to vote, every American owes those martyrs the duty of standing up and saying, ‘No. We will not let you disfranchise our fellow citizens.’”
Over the last two years, states have passed 25 laws restricting American citizens’ access to the voting booth, nearly as many as in the 102 years following the Civil War. Courts have struck down laws from Texas to Wisconsin for denying citizens their right to vote. After a federal judge blocked enforcement of an Ohio law that might “limit Plaintiffs’ access to the polls”, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted tried to deny that access himself only to back down in the face of possible contempt citation.
Video of Mr. Gonzalez questioning Mr. Gessler on April 01, 2012, may be found here.