Bill mandating citizenship checks for voters passes Colorado House

A bill that requires the Colorado Secretary of State to cross-reference voter registration forms with federal and state databases to determine if the would-be voters are citizens recently passed the House of the state’s legislature.

A lot of the debate that surrounded House Bill 1252, which was passed by a vote of 34-28, hinged on a figure produced by Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who said that he was aware of 106 people on Colorado’s voter rolls that were not US citizens, though he acknowledged he did not know whether any of them actually voted, according to the Durango Herald.

Democrats in the House wrote off this figure as a “farce,” and have referred to the bill as “Voter Disenfranchise Act of 2011,” according to the Denver Post, as they claim it will keep the elderly and poor from voting.

It is already a crime for noncitizens to vote, but current law only requires voters to affirm their citizenship when registering – they are not required to prove it by producing a passport or other document, the Herald reports.

Only one Democrat voted in favor of the bill, and it is expected that it will have a tougher time passing the Senate, where the Democrats hold a majority of 20-15.