The Jefferson County Republican Party announced on Facebook today that it “refused to certify the election results.” Election certification is the responsibility of the canvass board and the County Clerk, not political parties.
Reached for comment, Jefferson County Clerk spokesperson Kara Rowland explained that the county’s election results are already certified.
“Jefferson County has certified the results of the 2020 general election. According to state statute, a ‘majority of canvass board members’ signatures shall be sufficient to certify’ an election. A majority of our canvass board members has signed.”
Colorado Secretary of State spokesperson Betsy Hart confirmed this.
“Today, the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder transmitted to the Secretary of State the official abstract of votes cast certified by three of the five members of Jefferson County’s canvass board,” said Hart. “Thus satisfying the statutory requirement that a majority of members must sign the abstract of votes cast.”
While the Jeffco GOP says it is not alleging fraud, it is basing its demands for “an audit” on unfounded conspiracy theories about the voting machine software company, Dominion Voting, which is used by Jeffco (and nearly every other county in Colorado).
This morning we refused to certify election results in Jeffco. We are NOT alleging any fraud or suggesting races would change. However, there are enough questions about the software Jeffco uses, and suspicious data surrounding the elections, that warrant an audit. We have had a good working relationship with Jeffco Elections and believe we will improve election integrity by taking a closer look at the Dominion software election results.— Jefferson County Republican Party Facebook post, 11/23/20
It’s unclear from the public statements and the party’s so-called “Minority Report” if the Jeffco GOP executive committee understands the county election process. Chair Denise Mund did not return a request for comment.
With regard to the Jeffco GOP’s audit request, Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder George Stern explains that it’s already happened.
“Bipartisan audit boards in all 64 counties in the state have already audited the 2020 and 2018 elections,” said Stern. “That is something Colorado has done statewide in every election since 2017. That audit confirms that humans would have counted the ballots exactly as the machines and their software counted those ballots.”
At least some of the rumors about Dominion Voting originated with Joe Oltmann, founder of the conservative group FEC United, who made headlines in far-right media outlets for claiming that a Dominion executive is a member of Antifa who rigged the election against President Trump. His unfounded, unproven accusations against Dominion have since been echoed by Trump campaign senior counsel Jenna Ellis, and even tweeted by Trump himself. Oltmann has refused to provide any evidence for his claims, rejecting requests of proof from talk show host Peter Boyles, as well as a Snopes reporter attempting to verify his assertions.
Another prominent Jeffco Republican promoted these same unfounded conspiracy theories in an op-ed for Colorado Politics.
Jeff Hunt, president of Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute, also attacked Colorado’s universal mail-in ballot system, which was first implemented by Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams in 2014 and is considered a model for the nation.
The Colorado Times Recorder also reached out to Republican State Rep. Colin Larson, who won reelection to his Jeffco seat by nearly 3,000 votes (a margin of almost 6%). He did not immediately return a voicemail requesting comment. This article will be updated with any response received.
Several Colorado Republican election experts have dismissed concerns about Dominion Voting systems, including former Secretary of State Wayne Williams. In a Facebook post last week, Williams explained the state’s rigorous audit process and noted that Dominion has passed every one of the hundreds of tests conducted.
“Since its adoption, Dominion machines have been tested in 62 Colorado counties at least 807 times. They have passed every test.
First, each county in each election uses a bipartisan board to test the voting system prior to using it — that’s a total of 455 pre-election Logic and Accuracy Tests in nine elections. Second, in 2017 Colorado began conducting a Risk Limiting Audit after each election. In an RLA, bipartisan teams of judges in each county compare the cast vote record from the Dominion scanners to randomly selected paper ballots (with more actual ballots compared when the race is close). In the six elections since Colorado began RLAs, the Dominion Voting System has passed 352 times…” Williams concluded, “I can state that in Colorado the voting systems we use accurately record the votes of Coloradans — and we’ve proved it 807 times.”
Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers, a Republican also defended Dominion last week, taking to talk radio to assure listeners that the system is safe and secure.
Neighboring Weld County Clerk Carly Koppes, also a Republican, did the same. On Nov. 18 she told talk show host Jimmy Lakey, “I can with 100% certainty tell you our Dominion scanners read your ballot exactly how you marked it.”