Two Colorado conservative groups, the Republican Study Committee and the U.S. Election Integrity Project, held an informal hearing on alleged election irregularities in Colorado last Saturday, April 24.
Dr. John Eastman, CU-Boulder’s current visiting scholar on conservative thought and policy, Dr. Douglas Frank, a statistician and teacher from Ohio, and a technology specialist, Sean Smith, gave presentations to a panel of three Republican legislators and an audience comprised of in-person and online observers.
The panel was composed of Rep. Kim Ransom (R-Douglas County), Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Fremont County), and Rep. Stephanie Luck (R-Penrose). A round of questions from the panel followed each presentation.
Despite the hearing’s intended focus on irregularities in Colorado, the national outcome of the presidential race and election controversies in other states were clearly the inspiration and focus for this hearing.
Challenges to the presidential outcome and to results in state elections have been boisterous and sustained over six months. But so far, after numerous court petitions, recounts, and audits, no widespread fraud or irregularities of consequence have been verified.
Eastman brings controversy to Colorado in his own right. He has represented former President Trump in a legal capacity regarding failed challenges to the election in Texas and elsewhere, and he appeared alongside Trump’s lawyer and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani as he addressed the crowd at the Jan. 6 Washington D.C. rally which subsequently spawned an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
CU suspended Eastman and cancelled his classes shortly after he appeared with Giuliani.
At the hearing last Saturday, Eastman introduced himself, adding, “per orders from the University [of Colorado], […] I cannot appear in the capacity of that title.” Fundraising is underway for litigating a challenge to Eastman’s ongoing suspension.
Frank has contributed to efforts challenging election results in Pennsylvania and Michigan, and is currently collaborating with pillow entrepreneur Mike Lindell in a private effort to challenge 2020 election results.
Colorado’s 2020 election results have not been formally contested by any entity, although aspects of the state election laws have been continually and vigorously debated since being implemented eight years ago.
But overall, Colorado’s election laws have been widely touted by voters, county clerks, Secretary of State administrations from both parties, and national observers for ensuring election integrity while increasing voter turnout by enacting policies that enhance security, convenience, efficiency, and access for voters.
Some conservative Colorado pundits, however, have maintained that the system favors Democratic candidates in Colorado.
In his opening remarks as emcee, Colorado state representative Mark Baisley (R-Douglas County) captured the irony of holding this hearing in Colorado when he said:
“When we have an intuition about something, let’s think about that. Let’s pursue that. And that’s what we’re doing today. We’re pursuing something that does not make a lot of sense to us. Do we really believe that Coloradans went from being very patriotic to leaning Marxist in a ten-year period?”
Eastman claimed that Colorado voting provisions go against every recommendation of a commission report headed by former president Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State Jim Baker.
Frank asserted that he estimates a 5-10% rate of voter fraud in Colorado, although his evidence was sparse to nonexistent. “It’s everywhere,” he said.
Documented voter fraud in Colorado is rare, and hasn’t increased with the introduction of mail-in ballots.
While Frank and Eastman allude to scenarios that would have required massive collusion among liberal policymakers, legislators, vendors, party operatives, and elected officials in the 2020 elections, documented fraud is more likely to be committed by individuals. However, it is not widespread, and it is bipartisan. One case from 2016 saw a former Colorado GOP chairman, Steve Curtis, convicted of voter fraud and forgery.
The Colorado election “irregularities” mentioned by presenters were mostly in reference to other states–some with contested election results–that modified their laws and guidelines to mimic aspects of the Colorado system, in order to comply with COVID public health protocols and to maximize voter participation during the pandemic.
Hallmarks of the Colorado voting system include automatically sending mail-in ballots to all registered voters, easily accessible drop boxes for collecting ballots, clear parameters on handling ballots, same day voter registration, voter service centers and early voting provisions, no-excuse absentee voting, and a signature verification system.
To watch a complete video from the first half of the hearing, click here. Below are some selected quotes from the hearing, accompanied with video clips:
“You’ve got some very loose laws, here. […] The statute specifically says, that [the definition of a valid voter] doesn’t include people who are only here to attend college. […] And then you’ve got drop boxes mandated to be on every campus in the state. Quite frankly, I think that’s an equal protection violation, because it’s targeting heavily Democrat voter pools to the detriment of others.”Dr. John Eastman, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021
“We saw signature verification problems writ large, particularly in Pennsylvania and Georgia in the last election. […] The Carter/Baker Commission is very clear: absentee balloting, mail-in balloting, no-excuse mail-in balloting creates a huge incentive for fraud. It opens the door for fraud. They recommend you don’t do it.”Dr. John Eastman, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021
“We saw $400 million by Mr. Zuckerberg enter into election systems all over the country. And they claim it’s making grants available on a nonpartisan basis to anybody that asks, just to help them upgrade their election systems. These are the 5 [Colorado] counties that got money from Zuckerberg. […] There is one Republican-leaning county there: Yuma; and there are four Democrat leaning counties. So, I guess that’s bipartisan. But the votes in Denver and Boulder, it’s like 4-to-1 in favor of Democrats, or in favor of Biden in this last election. […] That meant that four of the five counties that got the Zuckerberg money [represented] 675,000 votes, total. But it’s “bipartisan“ because they also gave a grant down to Yuma county, with it’s 4,900 votes. All right, now, if anyone looks at that, and doesn’t see that it is a partisan effort, using this money—which I think means it violates a half a dozen federal election laws going on.”Dr. John Eastman, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021
“How does this tie back to Colorado? Because Colorado is the gold standard? It’s not. If you look at the Carter/Baker Commission report and you look at the recommendations, Colorado violates almost every single one. It’s the gold standard for ignoring the Carter/Baker Election Commission reports on integrity in elections. You ought not to be doing no-excuse absentee balloting. You certainly ought not to be mailing [ballots] to everybody on the voter rolls, because you haven’t got them kept clean. You ought to be vigorous about removing dead people from the voter rolls, because that’s just people’s names just sitting there, waiting to be borrowed for somebody to illegitimately cast an extra ballot. You ought to be making sure that when 50 ballots come in from a memory care nursing home, that they’re not all filled out with exactly the same hand signature, as we saw happen in New Hampshire and the audit in Montana. […] That’s where the real voter suppression occurs.”Dr. John Eastman, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021
“The system you have in place here—called the gold standard—is only the gold standard because nobody has been […] raising these questions. But the level of fraud here–I guarantee you—is pervasive. And it may well […] be significant enough to not have turned Colorado purple then blue. And if that’s true, then not only the presidential election in November, but Colorado statehouse elections and U.S. Senate elections have been stolen from you for a very long time.”Dr. John Eastman, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021
[In response to a question from CO Rep. Ron Hanks] “Should Trump have conceded? No! Because I think he won the election. Should he have taken more extraordinary steps? […] I think this was an abuse of our democratic republic system of government. I’m not prepared yet to say we’ve crossed the rubicon line on that. The Declaration of Independence says, ‘We will tolerate abuses as long as they remain tolerable.’ But at some point, they cease to be intolerable. And if I thought we couldn’t fix this with the 80 million concerted effort, then I would say we’d crossed that line. But I’m not prepared to go there yet. There were some that think that we’d crossed that line and were urging all sorts of things. But I wasn’t there yet. And I still have a firm view [and] belief in the rule of law and ultimately the character of the American people to fix that problem.”Dr. John Eastman, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021
Now, Colorado. I’ve done about 10 states, and everywhere I look, it’s everywhere. It’s fraudulent everywhere I look. I have not found any place that isn’t full of fraud. So, I call up Sherronna, because Sherronna is a heck of a supermom. And I believe that our supermoms are going to save our country. […] So, I called up Sherronna and I said, “You know, I’m doing all this election work. How about Colorado? How did it go out there? Did the election go the way you think it’s supposed to?” And she said, “No! Not at all.” And I said, “Well, find somebody with the data and send it to me. I’m running all these data on the other states, I’ll run it for you.” So she sent it to me. And the day I finished I had to fly out to meet Mr. [Mike] Lindell. Okay, so I hadn’t really checked it yet.Dr. Douglas Frank, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021
“The algorithm is, you inflate the registration rolls. […] You inflate the registration rolls, which gives a credit line of ballots that you can put in that are not real ballots, okay? And in Pennsylvania it was about 20% in District 4 […]. But in Colorado, I’m guessing it’s between between 5 and 10%. But I haven’t really looked at Colorado a lot, because as soon as I finished that first quick pass that I gave to her, I was immediately assigned to Michigan and then immediately assigned to other states that I can’t talk about yet.”Dr. Douglas Frank, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021
“And it all starts with the registration database, and Dr. Eastman has already talked about the fact that these are really dirty. They are really dirty. I think the fact that they’re even electronic has to go. I don’t even think we can have electronic databases anymore. I think we have to have the old poll books. I think we have to have precinct managing their own poll books. Because the main problem – I have logs in some states where –we have it to the minute –people [are] logging in with credentials, changing the databases in real time – during the election, leading up to and during – to control how it’s going. […] In Michigan, they added about 150,000 people to the registration rolls after eleven o’clock. How did they do that. And when we subpoenaed the Secretary of State for the list. They won’t give it to us. That’s public information. I want that list because that is a walk list. That is where — I want to walk and knock on those doors because I want to know who they came up with 150,000 people at the last minute to put in a ballot because they couldn’t win without it. They needed more credit line.”Dr. Douglas Frank, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021
“As good as Dr. Eastman is, his efforts have been largely unsuccessful. And that’s not a slam on him, is it? As good as our legislatures [pause] are, that approach has largely been unsuccessful. When our legislators let me down, and when our law system let me down, that’s when I realized that we have to do it. That’s why I’m in Colorado today, because we are training your teams how to take back your government. And in Ohio I’ve been training my supermoms, because they are the ones who get things done, –and I’ve got about 250 of them pounding the pavement, and Sherrona has been pounding them here. We have to remember that we are the government. And what we’ve been doing in Ohio – and I encourage you to do it, too – is we’ve been holding big rallies all over the state — Defy DeWine. He’s our governor. We’re having big parties. Last Saturday night, 650 of us showed up. That’s a big dance party. That’s not social distancing, baby. That’s snuggling. Okay! And no masks! We’re having parties! We are going to defy the government. So, when the government says, “You have to have an electronic poll book,” put me in jail, baby! You have to take it back, because they are going to fight you at every step.”Dr. Douglas Frank, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021
“Defend Danny Moore! He just got removed as the chairman of the redistricting commission but he’s still on the commission. He’s terrific. He hosted me for a Leadership Program of the Rockies event at his house, just Wednesday night. Defend him. They’re going to go after him, because he’s trying to make this an honest process. And so, let him know that he has your support.”Dr. John Eastman, informal hearing on election integrity, April 24, 2021