DENVER (CN) – A conservative talk radio host and former Colorado Republican Party chairman has been charged with forgery and voter fraud, after authorities said he forged his ex-wife’s presidential ballot last year.
Steve Curtis, who hosts the “Wake Up!” segment on conservative talk radio station KLZ-AM The Source, was charged in Weld County, Colorado, earlier this week.
According to news reports, Curtis’ ex-wife Kelly Curtis called Weld County election officials before the 2016 presidential election to see if she could send her Colorado absentee ballot from South Carolina, where she had recently moved and was not yet registered to vote.
But election officials said her ballot had already been received. An investigation by the county clerk-recorder revealed the ballot sent from the Curtis’ home in Firestone, Colorado, had a signature that did not match the one on file for Kelly Curtis.
Kelly told Fox 31 Denver that she was “completely stunned” when she found out.
"For somebody that speaks out for the Constitution and voter’s rights and our right as U.S. citizens, it definitely goes against what [Steve Curtis] talks about on his shows and how he lives his life as everyone has their right to vote,” she said.
Steve Curtis, who served as the Colorado GOP chairman in the late 1990s, said in a radio segment this past October that voter fraud was perpetrated almost entirely by Democrats.
In the segment, titled “Voter Fraud and Other Democratic Misbehaviors,” Curtis told listeners that “virtually every case of voter fraud I can remember in my lifetime was committed by Democrats. Am I onto something here, or do I just not have the facts?”
He added, “It seems like there’s something about being a Democrat that lends people to criminal behavior, or something about being prone to criminal behavior that draws people to the Democrat Party.”
At an arraignment hearing on Tuesday, Curtis was formally charged with one count of misdemeanor voter fraud and one count of forgery – a Class 5 felony. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
Curtis’ attorney Christopher Gregory asked the judge to issue a gag order to keep the prosecution from talking to the media, “because this case does touch on issues that are in the public discussion.”
The judge declined.
Gregory told the Denver Post that he “won’t be commenting through the proceedings.”
Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes told Courthouse News that because the case is active, she has been “advised to not go into that much detail at this time.”
However, she did say that Curtis’ case is “Weld County’s fifth case that has resulted in charges. This is the first case since I have been clerk and recorder that has resulted in someone being charged.”
Curtis’ next court date is May 19th.