Dozens Found On Voting Rolls Long After DeathsBy Brian Maass

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.”

Brian Maass

Comments (100)
  1. Mary Wilson says:

    I believe it was just after Obama won reelection I read in the Denver Post that Park County had one-half times more votes than registered voters in the county! Also about the same time there were shenanigans in Pueblo and Jeffco Counties. It might be interesting if you would check these facts out??

    1. JT says:

      You believe huh?

  2. Paul Malczewski says:

    So when will our representatives start working on behalf of the public and enact voter ID instead of the continued destruction of our nation with trash like the potential elimination of the electoral collage?

  3. Juan Avila says:

    wow, crazy to see the media admit the problem and actually investigate. That’s the only news for me. I’ll mark this day on my calendar.

  4. Jeffrey Barlow says:

    I am not surprised. I just found out that someone used my information to register as a Democrat in Denver. I have never lived in any part of Colorado and currently reside in Las Vegas, NV.

  5. mileaway says:

    Sandy and I have already voted for Trump. We mailed our ballots in last week. ODDLY enough she pointed out if we died today, before the election, we would be dead voters! LMAO!!!!

  6. Bill-B says:

    Wouldn’t you expect that? Illegals have been using “dead people’s ID’s” for years now. That’s how they have been getting benefits and have been able to avoid deportation. I’m sure they were assisted by the government and provided the information. This is an old Democrat sponsored scam to get a “voting ” illegal population. It’s happening all over this country, not just Colorado.

  7. Rita says:

    Good job and now will anything come of this investigation? I believe Obama won the second time with voter fraud and now I am thinking perhaps the 1st time around also. We need ID and fingerprints on the sign in sheets – that way, we can check to see if there were fraudulent votes, we can figure out who to prosecute.

  8. The $64,000 question? What party were these dead people voting for? The fact that it wasn’t named suggests it was Democrat. I’m sure if it was Republican in blue Colorado it would have been printed.

    1. Chuck says:

      Who people vote for is obviously confidential information and not made available to the public, so there is no way for the reporter to get this information to report it.

      But voter registration IS public. The suspicious woman Sarilu Sosa-Sanchez, who refused to discuss fraudulent votes in her own parent’s name, is a Republican.
      http://coloradovoters.info/by_number/0003/12875_sarilu_sosasanchez.html

      I’m sure this kind of voter fraud is committed by both Republicans and Democrats. There are bad apples in both parties. To imply only Democrats cheat is moronic and glaringly biased.

      1. Bill-B says:

        I don’t believe that’s true. People who have a need to vote illegally would be people here legally. That is a Democrat tactic. There are no illegals here that if were able to find away to vote, that would vote an other way than Democrat. I’ll also bet you money, that in virtually all the cases of voter fraud, the offender votes the ” vote all Democrat option”.

      2. Chuck says:

        To Bill-B: Of course you don’t believe it. You’re clearly biased. To say that all people who commit voter fraud are Democrats is as ignorant and biased as saying all racists are Republicans. A Republican has just as much motivation to commit voter fraud as a Democrat would: to get more votes for their candidate.
        This country would get a whole lot more accomplished if people worked together, and made decisions and opinion based on facts and evidence instead of prejudiced unsubstantiated beliefs.

  9. Voter rolls should be made public so people can check that people who don’t vote didn’t have someone vote for them. We also need a mechanism to know if a person’s vote was registered correctly. Voting needs to be modernized, an online website can be made secure and private, but that won’t happen. People don’t understand how safe online can be, because so much of this world is not secure.

  10. I am sick and tired of all these republicans caring about voter fraud. If we require IDs that means democrats will have to make fake IDs to vote multiple times. IF we want to have a regressive society with censorship and safe space than we need voter fraud. How dare a Local CBS news channel report truthful information. There was a time when CBS would have suppressed the truth to aid the democrats. The only good thing is this local CBS channel brought this up too late to do anything about it and it will be completely unreported and old news when laws are being considered to fix voter fraud.

  11. Robert Mann says:

    It is pretty simple. You require ID, and keep IDs on file to verify against. You offer subsidized voter IDs for anyone that might be disadvantaged who is a citizen. Non citizens are not allowed to vote via federal law. End of issue, unless your system goes down (and honestly we can and should be able to work around such a problem.)

  12. It’s 78 registrations out of slightly over 2.7 million. A failure rate that low isn’t cause for alarm, it’s outright commendable. A flat-out rate of zero is wishful thinking, no system is perfect enough for that when there’s still people involved. And at such low numbers, any would-be fraudster might as well just get himself a sign, start protesting, and try to build up a legit movement because he’s gonna achieve a hell of a lot more for less effort and risk that way.

  13. Katie says:

    Why do we let the dems get away with fighting against having and I.D.? It needs to get on a ballot and fought as far up the chain as necessary to keep things legal

  14. Katie says:

    And now the dems are registering dead people in Virginia. I will never recognize hillary if she gets elected now, knowing that the only way she did it is by fraud. disgusting

  15. June Chapman says:

    Australia has the best voting system no illegal votes. Only legal citizens can vote, everyone need to register with govt, and lists to be marks off when person votes. If the election is complulsory and not voting then they are fined. There is also a census put out every 5 years to say who,stayed where on a certain night, this gives Aust a pretty good indication how many people in Aust. And who they are, where they are from , where they work etc etc. I think this way is good. .i know we are a smaller country but maybe it’s time to start a register. . Can’t believe people can use dead people’s identity, we have 3 identification. Drivers licence, Medicare card. Pension card. Also need lots details if electricity or telephone, loans etc to get any benefits.
    This might help. June

  16. Daniel Marsh says:

    Wow! This doesn’t make Sarilu Sosa-Sanchez sound guilty as hell!:

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

  17. Question – could it be possible that these deceased votes are held and cast by someone in the registration office when they determine that they need them or to pad the count?

  18. Tim Atkins says:

    Of course, for every roach that you see, there are dozens that you can’t see …

  19. For the people who used those names of dead citizens to cast a vote should be imprisoned for voter fraud and do 20 years for that crime. And if illegals are the ones doing the voting, THEN SHIP THEIR ILLEGAL ASS BACK THE HARD WAY, DROP THEM FROM A PLANE WITHOUT A PARACHUTE. (personal opinion). In any case the guilty parties should be seeing prison time or departure for such an illegal and injustice to the US and its honest citizens. Either imprisonment, deportation, or medieval torture are the only ways to help curb this issue.

  20. Lynnette Sullivan says:

    And we don’t need photo ID either hmmmmm

  21. transrp says:

    Is there any evidence that all these voters voted the same way? well, probably republican since dead is the closer to republican in terms of intellect than democrat. But if there is no evidence of a tendency for dead people to vote the same way, then this is just the normal random error / noise / stupid that one expects in any large hierarchy.

    It is interesting that almost all people in this article who think conspiracy and fraud are conservative / republican. Probably backers of trump. ie probably uneducated, under or unemployed, lower down in the economy, etc. etc. ie the hallmarks of stupid

  22. Dave says:

    That is why we need VOTER ID laws. Everyone should have to show a valid ID

  23. john says:

    White pages dot com lists 21 John Grosso’s and 509 Cluck’s (We don’t know “Nell”‘s real first name) in Colorado. Don’t you think that one of these other people with the same name probably accidentally voted under the name of the deceased and then had their ballot thrown out because of a non match? Whatever happened to Occam’s razor? Your article is pretty damned ridiculous.

  24. KatrinaAnon says:

    My question is why is CBS4 investigating this? If you had 8,000 throw out on signature mismatch, the number of fraudulent votes must be huge!

  25. mary says:

    I bet most of the dead voted for Obama, Bushes or Clinton. What we need is picture ID to vote but Obama and his Democrats feel that is profiling or racist. Why didn’t they say that before Obama was in office? Of course Obama would say that because he would never have been elected if not for fraud and dead people voting.

  26. LOL
    This reporter will now be the next person to vote while dead!!

    He’s exposing typical democrat fraud. Hillary will soon have a hit squad out for him.

  27. libertarianhawk says:

    How is it that, in a day and age where somebody who wanted to know bad enough can find out what I had for breakfast, people who die are left on the rolls of registered voters?

    I’ll tell you how: it’s not an oversight.

  28. usa says:

    Why is the city so dumb, they are mailing out ballots to the dead?

    Its illegal to give ballots to dead people.

  29. peeksmith says:

    If a dead person’s vote “dilutes” another’s vote in some way, can the law be changed so that well, maybe, a dead person’s vote counts like, say, half a vote…

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