In Tiny Pitkin, Accusations Of Voter Intimidation

The Colorado secretary of state's office has asked the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate allegations of voter intimidation in Pitkin, a small town about 30 miles northeast of Gunnison on the Western Slope.

The office declared Wednesday that four residents of Pitkin whose votes were challenged earlier this year are eligible to vote there and requested the federal investigation.

The Gunnison County town has many residents who leave during the winter. In a letter to District Attorney Dan Hotsenpiller, Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert said people don't have to live in their homes for any set period in order to be eligible to vote.

She said people reported having utility records subpoenaed and their homes and cars photographed to determine their residency.

Hotsenpiller denies any wrongdoing and told The Denver Post he welcomes "any inquiry or any assistance" from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

According to the town's website, Pitkin was originally named Quartzville, and is thought to be Colorado's first mining camp west of the Continental Divide. It was incorporated on August 11, 1879 and named for Gov. Frederick W. Pitkin.