CBS4 Investigation Finds Dead Voters Casting Ballots In Colorado

Dozens Found On Voting Rolls Long After Deaths

By Brian Maass and Mark Ackerman

DENVER (CBS4) – A CBS4 investigation has found multiple cases of dead men and women voting in Colorado months and in some cases years after their deaths, a revelation that calls into question safeguards designed to prevent such occurrences.

“We do believe there were several instances of potential vote fraud that occurred,” said Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams after reviewing the CBS4 findings. “It shows there is the potential for fraud.”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams (credit: CBS)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams (credit: CBS)

The cases of dead men and women casting ballots ranged from El Paso County in southern Colorado to Denver and Jefferson County. CBS4 discovered the fraudulent voting by comparing databases of voting histories in Colorado against a federal death database.

The CBS4 investigation has triggered criminal investigations in El Paso and Jefferson counties along with a broad investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

“It’s not a perfect system. There are some gaps,” acknowledged Williams.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

One of the most glaring cases was that of Sara Sosa in Colorado Springs. She died on Oct. 14, 2009. However, CBS4 uncovered voting records that showed ballots cast for Sosa in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Her husband, Miguel, died on Sept. 26, 2008. But CBS4 unearthed records showing that a vote was cast in his name the next year, 2009.

Chuck Broerman (credit: CBS)

El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman (credit: CBS)

“That’s illegal,” said El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman, who called the CBS4 findings “very serious.”

“I was shocked and surprised at this,” said Broerman. “This cannot happen. We cannot have this here or anyplace in our country. Our democracy depends on it. People have spilled their blood for the values and underpinnings and beliefs of this country.”

Broerman said after their deaths, the Sosas remained on active voter rolls and mail ballots were still sent to their home because they did not meet the criteria to have their names deleted from eligible voter rolls.

“Somebody was able to cast a vote that was not theirs to cast,” concluded Broerman.

CBS4 visited the Sosa’s Colorado Springs home and contacted their daughter, Sarilu Sosa-Sanchez, who refused to discuss the fraudulent ballots.

“Go talk to someone else,” said Sosa-Sanchez.

(credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Brian Maass interviews Sarilu Sosa-Sanchez (credit: CBS)

When told CBS4 was investigating voter fraud, the woman said “I don’t know what that has to do with me.”

Voting officials have now asked the Jefferson County District Attorney to look into another dead voting case discovered by CBS4, that of Nell Cluck.

“Ma” Cluck, as she was known, died Feb. 1, 2009. However, nine months later Cluck managed to vote in an election.

Nell Cluck (credit: CBS)

Nell Cluck (credit: CBS)

“I think mom would be really unhappy about it,” said her son, Jim Cluck. “I think mom would be really disheartened to know somebody used her name to do something that she didn’t have any input into. If mom passes away and nine months later someone votes for her, that’s not right.”

A spokesperson for the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office confirmed the Secretary of State had recently requested a probe of the Cluck case.

Then there’s John Grosso of Denver, a father, grandfather and World War II veteran who died Dec. 13, 2004. Records show though that Grosso then voted at a polling place two years later, in a 2006 primary election.

“I think that’s a disgrace,” said his son, John.

(credit: CBS)

John Grosso (credit: CBS)

“The man is dead. He can’t vote. Somebody is cheating.”

Administrators with the Secretary of State’s Office believe Grosso’s vote may have been an error by an election judge.

But the broader question is why Grosso — and dozens of others — were still listed as active voters months and sometimes years after their deaths. State voting officials say they can only delete names from voting rolls if a number of precise criteria from death databases are met: names must be spelled precisely right, dates of birth must be correct and addresses must match. They say in many cases minor errors on the voter rolls or death databases leave election officials no choice but to leave dead people registered, leading to potential fraud and mistaken votes.

Out of approximately 2 million votes cast in Colorado’s last election cycle, 8,000 ballots were not counted when signatures did not match. The importance of finding and weeding out fraudulent votes is underlined by the 2002 election in Colorado’s 7th Congressional district. That race was decided by 121 votes out of more than 175,000 that were cast. In Ohio in 2010, a tax measure passed by just two votes.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Brian Maass interviews Secretary of State Wayne Williams (credit: CBS)

Following the CBS4 investigation, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office reviewed the CBS4 findings and confirmed at least 78 dead voters remained eligible to vote. Lynn Bartels, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office, said county clerks were notified and told to immediately remove those 78 names from voter rolls. Bartels said “It’s not clear why” those dead citizens were still being listed as eligible voters.

Chuck Broerman said what CBS4 found “undermines our system. It does dilute your vote in a small way.”

Williams said measures implemented in 2015 should reduce the number of dead voters casting ballots in Colorado, but he noted that the CBS4 investigation indicates further measures might be necessary.

“It’s not a perfect system,” said Williams, “It is impossible to vote from the grave legally.”

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.

Mark Ackerman is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. Follow him on Twitter @ackermanmark


One Comment

  1. Russell Costello says:

    So who did these dead people vote for, Republican or Democrat? I would bet the latter since Democrats typically cheat to win. Thank you 7 News for exposing this but your hands aren’t clean since you are a facilitator of the corrupt Democratic party.

  2. Lakewood Ed says:

    “It’s not a perfect system,” said Williams, “It is impossible to vote from the grave legally.”

    But not illegally . . .

    1. Janet says:

      The Election Commission should be held responsible for sending out mail-in ballots to people who are deceased!

  3. Collins says:

    Bet that all of the dead people who voted voted for a Democrat

    1. steveincolo says:

      Nope. Watch the video.

      1. Christian says:

        I’ve watched the video multiple times and at no time were any indications made as to what party the deceased ballots voted for. Please indicate at what minute/second you are referring to.

      2. Well we sure know which party wants voter ID’s laws and which party fights them tooth and nail, don’t we you simpleton?

  4. David Kelley says:

    Keep repeating a lie often enough…

    From a New York Times editorial earlier this week:
    “As study after study has shown, there is virtually no voter fraud anywhere in the country. The most comprehensive investigation to date found that out of one billion votes cast in all American elections between 2000 and 2014, there were 31 possible cases of impersonation fraud.”
    “Credit for this mass deception goes to Republican lawmakers, who have for years pushed a fake story about voter fraud, and thus the necessity of voter ID laws, in an effort to reduce voting among specific groups of Democratic-leaning voters.”

    1. Christian says:

      It’s the New York Times.

      1. Brian Ludlow says:

        Worse yet, it’s an editorial from the NYTs.

    2. Gyro Zandro says:

      Let’s dissect your narrative, In Minnesota, Al Franken’s DEMONcRAT operatives suddenly “found” ballots in their cars’ trunk that were ‘unaccounted for’!(?) Then on top of that fraudulent lie, the votes counter 100%(!!?) for Franken and nobody voted for his opponent, Norm Coleman (!?!?) wow! defies logic and the laws of probability doesn’t it?

      Let’s face it, DEMONcRATs HATES Voters ID laws! (wonder why) ACORN, SEIU, UNIONS and Liberal Loon operatives have been found guilty of voter registration and voting fraud! And useful Idiots like you still in denial defend the indefensible.

  5. DaveBarnes says:

    Some children are forging their parent’s signature on a ballot.

  6. Why is there no mention of what party they were registered as being with. ??? (Joe)

  7. Julie G of CO says:

    Two million votes were cast last election cycle, the Investigative team found 78 deceased voters still on the voter rolls. The article found seven fraudulent ballots cast, and five were at the same address. These all go back to 2013 and before.
    So instead of being concerned about voter fraud, the majority posting here “bet” they know which political party the ballots were cast for, with no mention in the article. If the ballots were cast for Republican candidates, are you OK with it?

  8. Alex Armstrong says:

    Death certificates have addresses. Why can’t the government agency issuing death certificates send a copy to the corresponding Registrar of Voters, another government agency?

  9. Pundit Pete says:

    Nothing new here. A lot of that went on in the 2012 Presidential Election. In fact, one poling group was able to estimate numbers. This will make you laugh (satire).

  10. Unless the law has changed recently, the law does NOT require the coroner in a county to send a copy of the death certificate to the Clerk and Recorder’s office thus allowing the possibility of the dead voting. Maybe the coroner’s offices should be able to send a copy to each of the clerk and recorder’s offices in the state.

    And to the Pundit Pete’s and David Kelley’s of the world, let me ask you a question: Does it not bug you when precincts have more votes cast, than eligible voters? Should not there be a way to check out a precinct or county with more votes cast than eligible voters, as well as an easy way to cull the names of those who passed away from the registration rolls?

  11. “I don’t have to clear anything up”.

  12. retsof1949 says:

    “it’s not a perfect system” is NOT an answer. Our voting system needs to be perfect in every way when it comes to stopping voter fraud. We the People cannot accept answers like that. Those who accept voter fraud as a minor aberration should be fired!! Put someone in who will STOP VOTER FRAUD. That is the only answer.

  13. Think about it folks, it is not just in the voting this is happening. People drawing on people who are deceased, collecting their SS until they are found out. With our food stamp system, until they get found out. Honesty isn’t valued anymore. Its what you can get free when you can get it. It is so scarey to think you can’t trust your government anymore, they are staying in so long they are there for their OWN agendas. I never in my life thought the way I do now about our government. Taking God out of the equation, look what transpires.

  14. Becky says:

    How dumb can people be — this has been going on for years. The remedy? Voters need to be required to show picture ID! That would end the problem & absolutely everyone who is registered to vote has some sort of ID – don’t tell me they don’t!

  15. Penny says:

    Is your secretary of State an idiot? “…the potential for fraud.” Fraud occurred, there’s no “potential” about it. Why downplay the fact instead of addressing how to correct the problem? He should also investigate your state’s voting officials as it sounds to me that they already knew this avenue into illegal voting has existed for quite a number of years by stating that “a number of precise criteria from death databases are met”. That alone infers a system that needs tightening. Also looks like your secretary of state’s spokesman, Bartel, is also attempting to undermine the situation by stating it undermines Colorado citizen’s vote in “a small way”. 78 illegal votes is just what one investigation found. Are these concentrated in one area of CO, etc? Lots of questions and not a lot of promise to investigate and tighten. Are you sure the people you’ve elected to “represent” you are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, Coloradans? Are you even sure they’re actually supposed to be the ones in office?

  16. Brenda Lott says:

    Grosso, at least, was a registered Republican – Dems don’t have primaries by vote in CO, they have caucuses. So – there you go, Repubs, YOU have a primary vote. Also, it might behoove you to determine the political party of the Secty of State during the years referenced in the article. Surely you’re not to dumb and deplorable to do a Google search. Man oh man, is your ignorance showing, Republican base.

    1. Funny that the same exact things was found in Los Angeles. Always voting Democrat as well. Yet the Democrats always claim there is no such things as voter fraud.

  17. Guilty beligerence, Sarilu Sosa-Sanchez?

  18. This is what I call “straining at a gnat” while ignoring the most obvious form of election fraud… electronic voting.

  19. MikeBuildsUSA says:

    The Secretary of State seemed very “mellow” in his replies.

  20. Bam Bam Funkhauser says:

    A Democrats dream come true.

  21. James(Carmine Pitaniello says:

    too funny…and how many? Lyndon Johnson was elected senator from Texas by a margin of 9,000 plus dead voters from a southern Texas district.
    and how many of these voters voted REPUBLICAN in Colorado?
    they didn’t touch this issue.

  22. Linda C Stevens says:

    We need a constitutional amendment that mandates each voter show a driver’s license or state ID card, & those who vote by mail must include a notarized photocopy of their ID.

  23. Who wants to bet that the parents of Sarilu Sosa-Sanchez voted Democrat? And it’s disturbing that she doesn’t deem to care at all.

  24. sucra says:

    maybe instead of scrubbing the 78 dead names from the roles, they should flag them somehow so they can catch the ballot stuffers when they arrive at the polls to vote and throw them in prison. if it is organized, then you can also solve past cases of fraud when you charge them and prosecute for EACH fraudulently cast ballot as a separate felony. check the alzheimers units and you probably have a higher voter participation rate than the general public. political hacks actually go into wards and make sure they are registered and that votes are cast.

  25. MikeBuildsUSA says:

    Remember people this IS CBS. Charlie Rose edited out Bill Clinton’s “frequently” comment about Hillary. Then the great Dan Rather reported a FICTIONAL story about GW Bush. Take anyhthing they report w/ a large grain of salt and seek another similar report elsewhere to confirm. A lie or misrepresentation is NOT a scoop!

  26. Amazing! How did they get paid off for voter fraud? The same type of promises for change?

  27. Dan Defoe says:

    You know Democrats regularly cheat. It’s in their DNA.

  28. MexMe says:

    I bought a house in Seattle last December and my husband and I immediately cancelled our voter registration in Hawai’i and registered to vote here. Shortly thereafter, I got ballots mailed for both of us and for the former owners for a local election. I wrote “moved” on the former owners’ ballots and dropped them in the mail. I thought it would be corrected when the ballots were returned to the Office of Elections. When the primaries rolled around, I got four ballots again!! I wrote “moved” on them and dropped them back in the mail. I have to wonder if I get four ballots for the general election. I could easily have voted two additional times if I was unscrupulous. I have to wonder if the previous owners are also getting ballots at their new home on the other side of the city. This mail in ballot system is rife with issues and illegal opportunities that go far beyond just dead voters.

  29. Smoke says:

    Chicago tactic the dead vote, and isn’t Obama from Chicago?

  30. Really?? Voter fraud? In yet another Blue State………. Go figure!

  31. Guest says:

    So, Dems, when you opposed voter ID laws you claimed voter fraud is fictitious and that it’s all just an “evil racist ploy” of the GOP to prevent Democrats from voting. Were you lying then, or are you lying now?

  32. Carlos Costa says:

    Picture ID is a no brainier! In addition ANYONE caught tampering with votes or illegally voting should LOSE their right to vote for 10 years! They effectively manipulated an outcome and voted multiple times watering my vote and those of honest voters down, The fairest punishment is taking away their right to vote once caught.

  33. Philip Schneider says:

    But how can deceased voter fraud happen if a picture ID is required???

  34. DocScience says:

    Statistics show that 106% percent of dead people vote Democrat 200% of the time.

  35. Moss500 says:

    “Our democracy depends on it.”

    When are people going to wise up? We have a Republic … not a Democracy.
    “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands…”

    Get it?

  36. M Johnson says:

    Vote often, vote Democrat. The votes arnt counted until the graveyard tally is in.

  37. Voter fraud should be made a FELONY, with a fine that would knock your eyeballs out, and JAIL TIME. Then let’s see how brave the democrats REALLY are.

  38. Lzy says:

    Voter ID laws will do no good when we have states giving IDs to illegal immigrants.

  39. JOE BLOW says:

    Colorada went o’slimebag by a wide margin….and the maggot-crat party has proven to be the largest organized crime syndicate the world has ever seen…..DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS….UNLESS YOU’RE A BRAIN-LESS FILTH-A-CRAT !

  40. Jake_in_Louisiana says:

    When I die I want to be buried in Colorado, so I can continue to remain active in politics.

  41. One helpful solution to DEAD people voting is to do away with “Absentee” voting . In order to vote , you should be required to appear in person , show a valid photo ID, and then cast your vote … Plain and simple.
    By using the “Absentee” system ; no one knows who the he** is actually voting ….

  42. Dwstick says:

    One of the tasks that each state’s Secretary of State has is to certify the winners of each and every election within that state; from Federal office right down to local dog catcher.
    Leftist activist George Soros funds a invention of his called the Secretary of State Project, which provides funding and campaign services to people (Democrats) running for Secretary of State within their respective states.
    If elected, it then becomes their job to declare Democrat candidates (or left-leaning ballot issues) the winners in all contests that are ‘too close to call’ or tied.

  43. Jerome Barry says:

    How does one spell Voter Fraud with one word? D-e-m-o-c-r-a-t.

  44. John Brown says:

    Obama, Crooked Hillary, and the Democrat keep opposi9ng and blocking common sense ID and voting requirements to protect our electoral systems from massive voter fraud. They do it folks because they are planning massive voter fraud to win in any close state. Every time you read an article from a democrat they say voter fraud doesn’t exist, and yet state after state has found massive voter fraud in investigation. Finding the DEAD voting is common. In Chicago everybody knows the democrats empty out the grave yards on election day to win elections through massive voter fraud. The Chicago way is know throughout the nation and includes massive voter fraud and well as corrupt at all levels by the Democrats.
    This year the Democrats haven’t just arranged for the dead to vote. They are working to get millions of illegal immigrants to the polls in states where they’ve blocked ID requirements. In DC the lying corrupt Obama regime is gave citizenship to 1800 illegal immigrants, including criminals that were waiting for deportation, just in time for the elections. When they were caught red handed they said…oops, a mistake. The deportation forms looked similar to the citizenship forms. Obama and crooked Hillary are spending tens of millions from their corrupt donors like Goldman Sachs to get millions of fraudulent votes cast in the close states.
    If crooked Hillary wins it will be through fraud, and the entire nation will know it. What the democrats are doing is deadly. Once we know our elections are all a fraud rigged by the democrats than deciding by voting is worthless like in the old USSR. Think about where that takes us. We have to stop Crooked Hillary and the corruption, and we have to do it this year.

  45. George Rowe says:

    FINALLY — proof of life after death.
    Now I know where to move when I die.

  46. Mark says:

    I got a idea. Lets have a voter ID law. This is so simple that it seems like someone would have thought of this before.

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