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Secretary Of State: Keyser Unlikely To Be Disqualified From GOP Senate Primary

DENVER (CBS4) - Two district attorney's offices say they are reviewing criminal complaints in Colorado's Republican Senate primary, and the complaints come as ballots go out to the first voters.

The complaints involve felony forgery and perjury. At issue is whether a circulator forged names on a petition and then attested to the validity of them under oath.

Jon Keyser
Jon Keyser (credit: CBS)

The circulator worked for Jon Keyser's campaign. A liberal advocacy group filed a complaint in Denver last week, and on Monday two individuals filed complaints in Arapahoe County.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams said if signatures were forged on petitions for Keyser, chances are the campaign wasn't aware.

"There is no indication that I have seen that any of the campaigns themselves knew of that," Williams said. "Typically it's a subcontractor of a contractor of a candidate, and so you don't have an actual causal effect from the campaign,"

Wayne Williams
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams (credit: CBS)

Regardless of what the district attorney decides, Williams says it's highly unlikely Keyser would be disqualified.

"If additional information were introduced in respect to any of the candidates, they would then still have the ability to say, 'Yes, but you disqualified this other section which should have been counted,'" Williams said.

Ryan Frazier
Ryan Frazier (credit: CBS)

Accusations of forgery is just the latest twist in a wild Senate race that forced Keyser and two other candidates to go to court to get on the ballot after the secretary of state denied their petitions. Ryan Frazier lost and is appealing to the Colorado Supreme Court. Robert Blaha won his case.

Robert Blaha
Robert Blaha (credit: CBS)

"My office is going to continue to follow law," Williams said. "Can we make law better? I think there are always ways to make the law better."

Williams said a committee is now reviewing the petition process including whether campaigns should have an opportunity to fix technical issues, and whether more training is needed for circulators, campaigns and candidates.

"Certainly the issues here will cause future candidates to be more aware," he said.

The ballots went out Friday and Saturday for overseas military voters with all the candidates' names on them.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of this week or next week on Frazier's challenge, which will determine whether his votes count.

There's no word on when Denver and Arapahoe County district attorneys' offices will decide whether to investigate the petition circulator for Keyser.

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