CBS4 investigation finds dead Coloradans continuing to vote

Prosecutors in at least two counties are investigating potential voter fraud and the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is taking a harder look at voter rolls after a CBS4 investigation found at least four instances of people voting months and even years after they died.

In one notable example, Sara Sosa of Colorado Springs died in 2009, but records show she voted in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Her husband, Miguel Sosa, died in 2008 but voted in 2009. CBS4’s Brian Maass visited the Sosa home and tried to talk to their daughter, but she declined.

“Go talk to someone else,” she said.

CBS4 also found cases in Jefferson County and Denver.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams said there are gaps in the system. To strike someone from the voter rolls, all information such as the spelling of names, addresses and dates of birth between death records and voter registration records must be a perfect match. Sometimes it takes a lot of research before a voter can be removed.

In a press release after the CBS4 investigation aired, Secretary of State spokeswoman Lynn Bartels said changes the office made in 2013 should make it more difficult for votes to be cast in the name of dead people in the future.

“Voters should know that since 2013, the Secretary of State and county election officials have employed new strategies to cancel as many dead voters as possible, leading to a much more complete cancellation program,” the press release said.

Ballots submitted by mail must have a signature on them, and those signatures are compared to the voter signature on file. Theoretically, people trying to vote in the name of dead person would need to forge the signature in a reasonably convincing manner.

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, or @meltzere.