Remember Republican rising star Jon Keyser’s highly touted but short-lived bid for the U.S. Senate last year? His ambitions imploded en route to last June’s GOP primary amid findings that a worker had forged signatures to land him a spot on the primary ballot.

In the end, paid petition circulator Maureen Marie Moss, 45, was sentenced to four years probation on each of two forgery counts along with 250 hours of community service. Keyser faded from the political scene.

A bill signed into law Thursday by Gov. John Hickenlooper will improve the state’s ability to weed out such fraud on the petitions used by many candidates to qualify for their party primaries.

When it takes effect Aug. 9, House Bill 1088 will require the Secretary of State’s Office to compare each signature on a candidate petition with the signature stored in the statewide voter registration database. Under the current system, the state only verifies the address listed for each voter signing a petition.

The proposal was sponsored in the 2017 legislative session by Republican House Minority Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock along with his dad, Republican Sen. Tim Neville of Littleton.

A press release from the House GOP quoted the junior Neville:

“This new law will protect the integrity of the petition process, and ensure every candidate has an equal opportunity to get their name on the ballot. … The unanimous support from my colleagues for this legislation shows the importance of protecting the petition process, and I am thankful for all the support and assistance we received to pass this bill.” 

By the way, Keyser landed on his feet though not in politics. As we noted a while back, he is now a corporate counsel with motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee.

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