The former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party was sentenced to four years of probation and 300 hours of community service for voter fraud, CBS News reports.
A jury found Steve Curtis, 58, who led the Colorado Republican party from 1997 to 1999, guilty in December 2017 for signing his ex-wife’s ballot during the 2016 election. Steve Curtis blamed a “major diabetic episode” for causing him to vote his ex-wife’s absentee ballot in October 2016.
Curtis told District Judge Julie Hoskins Friday it was “a customary thing” for him to fill out his wife’s ballot and he didn’t know it was illegal, but he said he didn’t remember doing it.
In October of 2016, Kelly Curtis called the Weld County Clerk and Recorder’s Office to obtain her mail-in ballot. She was told she had already voted, CBS Denver reports.
The Weld County District Attorney’s Office investigated and, using DNA evidence and handwriting analysis, alleged that Steve Curtis forged his wife’s name on her ballot and mailed it to the clerk’s office.
“He knew exactly what he was doing,” said Deputy District Attorney Tate Costin during the trial’s closing arguments. “He received it in the mail, opened it, voted, signed it, sealed it back up and sent it in. If he were going to sign a name during this confused diabetic state, wouldn’t he sign his own name? Why her name? She hadn’t even lived in the house for 11 months.”
Coston added: “He committed a selfish and arrogant crime. This was not a product of a diabetic blackout. He did this out of spite and thought he’d get away with this. He not only took away his ex-wife’s right to vote in the 2016 election, but this affected the nation. His one fraudulent vote created an insecurity in our system and created discomfort throughout the country. He is educated, successful and intelligent, yet he has never once taken responsibility for what he did and has blamed everything and everyone, including the system. Bottom line, he has absolutely no respect for the law.”
Coston asked the judge for a sentence including jail time with probation. Judge Hoskins instead decided on a penalty of four years probation and 300 hours of community service.
Steve Curtis served as the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and worked as recently as August 2017 as a talk show host on the radio station KLZ-AM 560 in Denver.