Nearly 3,400 Coloradans canceled their voter registrations in the wake of the Trump administration’s request for voter info, the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed Thursday, providing the first statewide glimpse at the extent of the withdrawals.
The 3,394 cancellations represent a vanishingly small percentage of the electorate — 0.09 percent of the state’s 3.7 million registered voters. But the figure is striking nonetheless, with some county election officials reporting that they’ve never seen anything quite like it in their careers.
The withdrawals began in earnest earlier this month, after a presidential advisory commission on election integrity requested publicly available voter information from all 50 states.
County election officials told The Denver Post that voters have typically given them two reasons for the withdrawals: They don’t trust President Donald Trump’s voter integrity commission, and they didn’t realize how much of their voter registration information was already public under state law.
“It’s my hope that folks who withdrew their registration will re-register, particularly once they realize that no confidential information will be provided and that the parties and presidential candidates already have the same publicly available information from the 2016 election cycle,” Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams said in a statement.
Another 182 Colorado voters signed up to become “confidential voters,” a designation that allows their information to be withheld.
To become one, a voter must sign an affidavit saying they’re worried that they or someone in their family will be harassed or in physical danger if their voter information is made public. The provision was added primarily with law enforcement and victims of domestic violence in mind, but anyone can apply if they have a reasonable fear of harm. There’s also a $5 application fee.
Trump established the advisory commission in May with a mandate to review U.S. election integrity, with a focus on voter fraud, voter suppression and other “vulnerabilities.” But the effort has been clouded by privacy concerns and distrust from the start.