Have 30,000 non-citizens in Colorado been asked to vote in the next semesters?
With less than a month to go until November’s midterms, the contest is already haunted by fears of voter fraud, a product of false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.
Recent polls suggest this Trump-fueled conspiracy theory is still on the minds of many Americans despite the lack of credible evidence to refute President Joe Biden’s victory and efforts to combat the false narrative.
Yet it appears these types of voter fraud claims take root midterm, weeks before voters head to the polls.
A number of tweets posted on October 11, 2022 imply that a voter fraud conspiracy was behind the recent news that 30,000 non-citizens in Colorado received marketing materials encouraging them to vote.
The tweets were accompanied by articles in The Federalist and FoxNews.
One tweet read: “This is completely illegal!!
“Certainly made under cover of a mistake!
“The Democrats are not fooling anyone this time!”
Actor James Woods wrote in response to the Fox News article, “Here we go again!”
With November’s midterm elections — a contest that could shift control of Congress and significantly influence the shape of the 2024 presidential election — just weeks away, the stakes for American voters are high.
Registration promotions ran until the September 30 deadline, with voters due to vote on Tuesday, November 8.
As the biggest US election streak since the 2020 White House race draws closer, the specter of baseless voter fraud allegations and “stop theft” conspiracy theories looms over the contest and threatens to spill over into the beyond results.
Such instinctive skepticism is evidenced by the reaction to this story, in which marketing material encouraging people to vote was sent to many people, including those who were not eligible to do so.
As stated in an article from Associated Presswhile the Colorado secretary of state’s office sent 30,000 postcards to noncitizens encouraging them to register to vote, none of those people would have been legally allowed to participate, even if they had been guided by postcard to do so.
The “postcard senders” were sent due to a “database problem”, the PA reported, linked to the state’s list of licensed residents.
However, coverage by the PAFox News and The Federalist all mention the integrity of the vote despite the fact that the postcards were just advertisements with no legal standing.
PA points out that the penalties for voting as a non-citizen are severe and include expulsion.
Sean Morales-Doyle, director of the voting rights program at the Brennan Center for Justice, who spoke to PAsaid there were very few incidents of non-nationals trying to check in.
The postcards also specified the basic eligibility requirements (a US citizen at least 18 years old) to register.
Either way, the social media comments perpetuate the misconception that the postcards had any legal significance or weight beyond being marketing material (which they don’t), or that there was a conspiratorial plot behind it.
That last account doesn’t hold much either, because the mistake was very public, was acknowledged by the Colorado secretary of state, and then corrected.
Newsweek contacted the Colorado Secretary of State for comment.
The tweets are based on a report about marketing materials encouraging voter registration and mistakenly distributed among people unable to vote.
The material, which would have been sent due to a computer problem, was only an advertisement. The announcement would have specified eligibility requirements, but did not give non-voters the legal right to vote.
FACT CHECK BY Newsweek’s Fact Checking Team