Fox News has failed to report on allegations of election fraud in Colorado, a silence that is at odds with the network's tendency to hype election fraud as a widespread phenomenon, even when the allegations are minimal or dubious.
The election fraud allegation stems from an effort to recall two Democratic Colorado legislators, Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron, over their votes in favor of Colorado's new gun violence prevention laws. Supporters of Morse are calling for a criminal investigation into whether Kennedy Enterprises, hired by the National Rifle Association-backed Basic Freedom Defense Fund to collect signatures in support of the recall, forged the signatures of individuals who did not support the recall, including one individual who has been deceased for two years.
On July 18, a Denver judge certified recall petitions against Morse and Giron, setting the stage for a September 10 recall election. Supporters of Morse are now questioning this certification, as the signature of Twila Peach, who died two years ago, was reportedly not invalidated by the Colorado Secretary of State's screening process.
Colorado Springs NBC affiliate KOAA spoke to Peach's husband who noted that the recall petition is signed Twila Peach, even though he said she always signed her name as Twila Sue. A man who claims that his name was misspelled when his signature was forged also spoke to KOAA about his inclusion in the recall petition:
One such name, Twila Peach, actually died two years ago. Her husband Ken says Twila was known by her middle name Sue, and he says she always signed her name Twila Sue.
"It upsets me that somebody would try to use her name for political gain," he said.
Another name is signed Allen Davidson, when the actual homeowner at the listed address named Alan Davidson.
"The least they could do is spell my name right," Davidson said. "That's sheer stupidity right there."
Despite facially credible allegations of irregularities in the recall process, Fox has remained silent -- in stark contrast to its routine reporting of similar claims -- since the voter fraud allegation was publicized.
In January 2012, Fox News promoted South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson's claim that 900 dead people voted in recent elections in that state, even as a different state official warned that the discrepancy could be explained by voters casting absentee ballots before their deaths or by data errors. A subsequent investigation found no evidence of voter fraud.
A 2012 Fox News special on election fraud highlighted a number of insubstantial allegations, including evidence-free claims that petitions seeking to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker included fabricated signatures.
Not limiting its reporting to actual allegations of fraud, Fox warned in August 2012 of "growing fears on election fraud" over reports that some mailings of voter registration forms were addressed to ineligible voters. However, the next month, Fox was silent in the face of reports that a Florida firm hired by the Republican Party was accused of forging more than one hundred voter registration applications.