Former Colorado GOP chairman charged with voter fraud
GREELEY, Colo. (KDVR) -- The former chairman of Colorado's Republican party has been charged with voter fraud and forgery. 57-year old Steve Curtis is accused of filling out and mailing in ex-wife's ballot for the 2016 presidential election.
Curtis was the state's GOP Chairman from 1997 to 1999 and currently hosts a talk radio show on KLZ-560 AM. He made his first court appearance Tuesday morning in Weld County to be advised of the charges against him.
Investigative Reporter Rob Low confronted Curtis as he walked into court asking him, "Did you vote for your ex-wife in the last election Steve?"
"We're not going to talk about this," was the response from Curtis, who ignored repeated questions about whether the charges undermine his credibility as a political radio host and former state party chairman.
His ex-wife Kelly Curtis was less shy when reached by phone in South Carolina, "I was livid over the whole situation, definitely."
Curtis said she left Steve after just nine months of marriage, "I didn't feel it was an equal partnership, I'll just leave it at that."
Still, the 49-year old said she never predicted her ex-husband would allegedly mail in her ballot and sign her name, "It was demeaning and presumptuous and I had no idea what would go on in someone`s mind to cast my ballot for me illegally, actually to go to all the trouble to forge my ballot."
Weld County Prosecutors discovered the forgery when Kelly Curtis called the Weld County Elections Office in October asking how she could vote since she had just moved to South Carolina but was still registered to vote in Colorado.
That's when she said an election worker told her she had already voted by mail, and the elections office already had her ballot.
"I was just completely stunned I thought there had to be some kind of mistake," said Kelly Curtis.
That's when verification judges for the Weld County Clerk and Recorder's Office got involved. "We compared her (ballot) signature just to the signatures on her registration," said Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes, who quickly determined the signatures didn't match but noted the the ballot was sent from Steve Curtis's home in Firestone, Colo.
Koppes is herself a first-term Republican who said she had no idea Steve Curtis used to be the state's party chairman. "There's a little bit of irony in it, but I don`t care who you are or what you formally have done, it's just not okay to do it."
In court, Curtis' defense attorney asked the judge to impose a gag order to keep prosecutors from talking to the media about the case.
The judge declined. After the hearing, Curtis' defense attorney asked Weld County Sheriff Deputies to escort him to his car in order to avoid any more questions from the Problem Solvers.
Curtis faces up to 18-months in jail for the misdemeanor count of election fraud and up to 3-years in prison for the felony count of forgery.
The Problem Solvers spoke to his bosses at Crawford Broadcasting in Dallas who said Curtis is innocent until proven guilty and they have no intention of taking disciplinary action unless and until he's convicted.
But his ex-wife suspects Curtis has definitely hurt his credibility with his radio listeners. "For somebody that speaks out for the constitution and voter's rights and our right as U.S. citizens, it definitely goes against what he talks about on his shows and how he lives his life as everyone has their right to vote," said Kelly Curtis.
Just five months ago, Curtis discussed the topic of voter fraud on his radio show.