Former Colorado GOP chairman sentenced to probation, community service in voter fraud case |

Former Colorado GOP chairman sentenced to probation, community service in voter fraud case

Sharon Dunn

Steve Curtis sits next to his attorney, Christopher Gregory, during his sentencing Friday morning in the Weld County Courthouse in Greeley. Curtis was sentenced to four years of probation and 300 hours community service for voter fraud and forgery.

Narrowly avoiding a jail sentence for interrupting the judge during his Friday sentencing for voter fraud and forgery, a former state Republican Party chairman faces the next four years on probation with the requirement to serve 300 hours of community service.

A jury in December convicted Steve Curtis, 57, of the two crimes, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor. On Friday, Curtis appeared for his sentencing hearing, citing a litany of physical and mental health problems that made it impossible for him to remember filling out the ballot of his estranged wife in October 2016.

"It was a normal and customary thing in my house with my prior wife and with Kelly (Curtis), to fill out their ballots. … I didn't know that was illegal," Curtis said Friday as he addressed Weld District Court Judge Julie Hoskins during his sentencing hearing. "But at no time did I plan this, and I still don't remember doing it."

Curtis' ex-wife learned her ballot had been cast when she called the clerk's office to see how she could vote.

Throughout his trial and on the witness stand, Curtis claimed he was in a diabetic blackout when he filled out the ballot and did not remember the incident for months. He claimed he was blacking out often during the closing months of 2016 and had no intention of forging his ex-wife's signature. On Friday, he said this condition affected him his whole life, and he just recently learned he had post traumatic stress disorder. During an interview with the Weld County probation department, however, he made mention of his homicidal thoughts, noted Weld Deputy District Attorney Tate Costin.

"Not once in this 13-page report did he take any accountability, not once," Costin said. "He blames everyone and everything for his problems. … He makes homicidal statements toward the bench, the government, and he denies his role. He minimizes his actions and calls it a 'paperwork infraction.' … He absolutely expects a slap on the wrist" here today.

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Costin said he minimized his crime — which she said was offensive and put doubt into the integrity of the nation's election system — by saying his actions didn't affect anyone.

Later, Curtis explained: "I was thinking about that one vote in a state of 6 million people where the margin wasn't even close. That's why I said (the crime) didn't affect anyone. I have questions about voter fraud myself."

Because of those questions, Curtis told Hoskins when he moved to North Carolina recently, he refused to register to vote.

Hoskins said she "didn't believe for a second" his medical issues had anything to do with him filling out the ballot, with the correct ink, in little bubbles, signing it and mailing it, at which point Curtis tried to interrupt her.

"Do you want to go to jail, Mr. Curtis?" she asked. "I'm not planning to send you to jail, but you can quickly change my mind. … This was done deliberately and when you got caught, that's when the story came out."

The sentence

Steve Curtis was sentenced Friday to four years of probation and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service for his convictions of felony forgery and voter fraud, a misdemeanor.