ArapCo DA drops one of four voter fraud charges promoted by state investigation

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Arapahoe County prosecutors have dropped the charges against one of four people charged in a voter fraud case last fall.

The decision by prosecutors last week to drop charges against Michael Michaelis means just three people face criminal charges after a lengthy investigation that looked at 41 people who the Colorado Secretary of State said may have illegally voted. 

District Attorney George Brauchler said his office opted to dismiss the case against Michaelis after questions arose over whether he or a witness filled out some information on voter registration documents. 

Michaelis and another man, Carl Blocker, worked for a nonprofit called Work For Progress and prosecutors said the men registered voters who were not eligible to cast a ballot in Colorado. 

Brauchler said after further investigation, there were questions about whose handwriting was on the documents in Michaelis’ case.

Blocker is still facing a low-level misdemeanor count of Procuring False Registration. He is due in court June 20. 

Two other Aurora men — a 72-year-old Ethiopian immigrant and a 47-year-old Polish immigrant — are facing misdemeanor charges of procuring false registration. They are due in court later this summer. 

Brauchler said the cases against the other three are going forward. 

Brauchler’s office announced the charges against the four men in November and said they were the result of a four-month investigation by six staffers working more than 300 hours investigating 41 suspects.

Of those 41 voters, prosecutors found more than half were eligible voters.

When the charges came down, a spokesman for Secretary of State Scott Gessler, said the two men charged in Aurora are the only people from Gessler’s list of 155 possible ineligible voters who will face charges. But, he said, there is evidence that more people from that list voted illegally, but local prosecutors opted not to charge them with a crime.

Of the people on Gessler’s list, 27 were registered Democrats, 13 were unaffiliated and one was registered with the Green Party.

Both Gessler and Brauchler are Republicans.

Brauchler said in a statement that investigators determined 21 of the suspects were eligible to vote. Prosecutors weren’t able to find enough evidence to charge another 10, and there were eight that investigators were unable to locate.