Members of the state's audit committee on Thursday unanimously gave auditors approval to conduct research for an audit. Lawmakers will vote at a later meeting whether to conduct an audit of Gessler's use of discretionary funds.
The Republican elections chief is under scrutiny for travel to the political events, for which he was reimbursed $1,570. Democrats and left-leaning groups have questioned whether that was appropriate.
Denver prosecutors are also conducting a criminal investigation.
Gessler has said he welcomes a full review of his expenses.
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