DENVER (AP) – A canvasser who collected petitions to help Jon Keyser qualify for Colorado’s Republican U.S. Senate primary was charged with submitting 34 forged voter signatures, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Maureen Moss, 44, was arrested Wednesday by Denver police, said Sarah Masterson of the Denver district attorney’s office. It wasn’t immediately known if Moss had an attorney.
Her first court appearance could be Thursday, district attorney’s spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said.
Moss was charged with 34 forgery counts for allegedly submitting fake voter signatures while canvassing for Keyser’s petition drive to get on the June 28 GOP primary ballot, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said.
Morrissey said registered voters in Denver, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties told investigators that they never signed petitions for Keyser, even though their names appeared on notarized petitions submitted by Moss.
Moss was working for Black Diamond Outreach, which was contracted by Keyser’s campaign to get signatures.
Morrissey’s office began investigating after the activist group Progress Now reported that fraudulent signatures had been submitted to the secretary of state’s office by Keyser’s campaign – possibly jeopardizing Keyser’s chances of qualifying for the primary.
The former state representative from Morrison was widely criticized for initially deflecting questions about the forgery reports. His campaign insisted it didn’t know about any problem before those reports surfaced. Keyser on Wednesday praised the charges against Moss and said he looked forward to “justice being served.”
The forgery case will be prosecuted in Denver, Morrissey said in a statement.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams initially ruled Keyser didn’t get enough signatures to make the primary. He reversed that ruling after Keyser obtained a court order saying he’d “substantially” met qualification rules.
Williams’ office also announced changes to its own verification procedures last month after it revealed that top officials weren’t immediately notified that employees had discussed concerns about possibly fraudulent petition signatures for Keyser.
Keyser faces El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn and businessmen Robert Blaha of Colorado Springs, Ryan Frazier of Aurora and Jack Graham of Fort Collins in the primary.
The winner will face Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in November.
– By JAMES ANDERSON, AP Writer
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