For Immediate Release
Contact: Ryan Parsell, Chief Deputy
(719) 520-7322 or (719) 351-9626 - cell
Conviction Secured in Voter Fraud Case
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – March 8, 2017] The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office is pleased to announce a conviction has been secured in one of the outstanding voter fraud cases being investigated by the District Attorney’s Office. Toni Newbill pleaded guilty to voting twice under Colorado Revised Statute 1-13-710. The penalty for this crime includes probation, community service, a fine, and other court fees. Ms. Newbill attempted to cast Ralph Nanninga’s ballot in the 2016 Primary Election. Mr. Nanninga passed away in 2012.
“I’d like to thank our District Attorney Dan May and his staff for their great work on this case,” said Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. “Our office takes voter fraud seriously and we’re committed to combating it in every form. We’ll continue to work with various agencies to prevent voter fraud, clean up registration lists, and prosecute those who try to abuse our democratic system.”
Voter fraud has long been a hot topic in Colorado. Some have asserted that voter fraud rarely happens, while others believe it is common. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. This case is unique for two reasons. One reason is unlike other cases where voter fraud was attempted there was a clear suspect to investigate and prosecute. The other reason this case is unique is because the conviction is for voting twice. Most voter fraud cases are prosecuted under forgery laws, which can mask the actual number of voter fraud occurrences.
The Clerk’s Office refers any suspicious voting activity to the District Attorney’s Office for investigation, and supports more stiff penalties for those convicted of voter fraud. The Colorado Legislature sets the penalty range for those convicted of a crime.
The Clerk’s Office referred 2,031 voters to the District Attorney’s Office for investigation after the 2016 Presidential Election. Voters were referred for a myriad of reasons, ranging from a signature discrepancy issue to potentially voting twice. While most of those investigations will not yield examples of voter fraud, it is important to thoroughly investigate each instance.