Scott Gessler

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Scott Gessler
Secretary of State of Colorado
Assumed office
January 11, 2011
Governor John Hickenlooper
Preceded by Bernie Buescher
Personal details
Born 1965 (age 48–49)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Yale University
University of Michigan, Ann

Northwestern University

Scott Gessler is the Secretary of State of Colorado, a businessman and a prominent elections attorney.


In 2011, Secretary of State Gessler filed an order requiring Denver County not to mail ballots to those who did not vote in 2010 and failed to respond to numerous mailings from the county clerks. Though counties had never mailed to these inactive voters for statewide November elections, both Pueblo and Denver, which are heavily Democratic counties, decided this would be the first time they would mail to inactive voters causing some to accuse Gessler of making the order for political reasons.[1][2][3]

In the lead-up to the 2012 elections, Gessler sent letters to voters who also showed proof of non-citizenship at their recent driver's license application. The letter asked the registered voters to confirm their citizenship. Many non-citizens voluntarily removed themselves from the rolls. Although Gessler never removed or threatened to remove anyone from the voter rolls, many liberal groups complained of his efforts to purge voters. He countered the criticisms of the campaign by saying his office "had spent $1.1m registering Colorado voters, an initiative which netted more Democrats than Republicans, and that the state's electoral roll was cleaner than ever. He compared his campaign to installing fire alarms. 'Even if a building has no history of fires, it's something you do.'"[4]


In an attempt to encourage small business growth in the state, his office temporarily reduced all business filing fees in the state to $1. Though the Secretary of State's office is funded largely through business filing fees, the office was able to absorb the 3 month fee reduction.[5]

Ethics investigation[edit]

An investigation and hearing conducted by the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission resulted in a unanimous finding that Gessler violated the state discretionary fund statute by spending government money on a political event, the Republican National Lawyers Association meeting in Sarasota, Florida in August 2012. [6]


  1. ^ Roper, Peter, "Gessler: No to mailing ballots to inactive voters", Pueblo Chieftain, September 30, 2011.
  2. ^ "County clerk to comply with Colo. Sec. of State order barring soldiers from voting", Washington Independent, October 03, 2011.
  3. ^ Grenoble, Ryan, "Scott Gessler, Colorado Secretary Of State, Draws Federal Ire Over Questionable Ballot Practices (VIDEO, UPDATE)", The Huffington Post, 09/29/2011 (update 11/29/2011). Video link to Rachel Maddow commentary.
  4. ^ Carroll, Rory, "Colorado Republican accused of following 'Florida playbook' in election",, 5 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Joey Bunch, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler wrong to use state funds for trip, ethics panel rules, The Denver Post, June 7, 2013.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Bernie Buescher
Secretary of State of Colorado