Colorado GOP Chair Kristi Burton Brown claims Republican election watchers can ignore the required Secretary of State training course that all designated poll watchers are required by law to complete before monitoring elections.
Burton Brown, in a recent radio interview with Randy Corporon, says the Colorado Republican Party’s “Election Integrity Committee” has created its own training.
“That’s what the committee does,” said Burton Brown on air. “Also creating our new poll watcher trainings, so that our poll watchers don’t have to do what Jena Griswold says in her training, as it is full of errors.”
Reached for comment, Secretary of State spokesperson Annie Orloff noted that election watchers must complete the training in order to observe elections. They can take any other trainings [the party] is putting together, but they must complete the state watcher training course — that is governed in statute.”
The rule states:
“A watcher must complete a training provided by or approved by the Secretary of State before observing election activities where confidential or personally identifiable information may be within view. To verify completion of the training, a watcher must provide his or her training certificate of completion with the Certificate of Appointment.”— Colorado Election Rule 8.1.5
Orloff also noted that no one has alerted the Secretary of State’s office of any errors in training.
“I’m not sure what errors she’s referring to,” said Orloff, “But no one has come to our office and been able to point to any identifiable errors in that training.”
Burton Brown touted her creation of an “election integrity committee,” calling it “one of the most important efforts we have going on at the Republican Party. I launched it as soon as I got elected as chairman.”
Burton Brown did not respond to an email asking to identify the errors she claims exist in the Secretary of State’s training. This article will be updated with any response received.
Orloff disputed Burton Brown’s claim that the party’s election integrity committee was responsible for overturning rules promulgated by the Secretary of State’s office.
“During our normal rule making process we have in the past made modifications to the rules based on feedback from stakeholders and the public, but it would be inaccurate to say any rules have been overturned,” said Orloff.
Orloff also corrected Burton Brown’s claim that Republicans’ advocacy succeeded in amending an election security bill currently being heard in the state Senate. The bill addresses training and security issues raised in part by the alleged actions of Mesa Clerk Tina Peters, who is facing numerous felony charges related to election tampering. A provision requiring the secretary of state to complete the same training courses as the county clerks was offered while the bill was in the House, but had been removed prior to Burton Brown’s radio appearance.
Led by Burton Brown, the Colorado Republican Party had considerable trouble administering its own internal elections at its state assembly last weekend. Many delegates objected to the party’s use of an electronic voting system, echoing debunked conspiracies that the 2020 election was rigged in part by Dominion Voting machines. Some have since called for Burton Brown, who told supporters last year she wanted forensic audits of Dominion Voting Machines and agreed the party should “go on the attack” against the company, to step down over her opposition to using paper ballots at the assembly.
One candidate who failed to make the primary ballot, gubernatorial hopeful Danielle Neuschwanger, has threatened to sue Burton Brown and the party over what she claims was a fraudulent system for counting delegates’ votes.
U.S. Senate candidate Ron Hanks, an avowed election fraud conspiracist, previously touted his plans to train poll watchers to be “bulldogs” who would be much more aggressive in 2022.
Read the full transcript of Burton Brown’s comments below:
Colorado GOP Chair Kristi Burton Brown:
“Yes, Randy [Corporon], you’re so right. [Election Integrity] is one of the most important efforts we have going on at the Republican Party. I launched it as soon as I got elected as chairman. The first time the Republican party has had a statewide election integrity committee that not only activates people but also trains them, that pushes back on Jena Griswold’s rule-making process.
In fact, this committee, with the help of our attorney, has actually been able to roll back some of Jena Griswold’s rules that were actually terrible, and weaponized — she’s a partisan hack and she weaponized them. So, we’ve been able to use this committee to get some of those rules overturned. We’ll continue to push back on that.
This committee has also been very active in pushing back on Senate Bill 153, the Democrats’ election bill right now going through the legislature. Our state party, myself personally, has called on people to act against that bill. We have gotten one very bad provision against free speech removed from that bill, and then another provision added that would make Jena Griswold actually get trained herself on elections, as she is trying to force that on local officials but not apply it to herself. And so we’ve been able to win a couple of ideas on that.
That’s what the committee does, also creating our new poll watcher trainings, so that our poll watchers don’t have to do what Jena Griswold says in her training, as it is full of errors. So, we’re doing that, recruiting people, having the attorney network. So, anyone, they can email [email protected], — [repeating the email address] [email protected] — to sign up to be a part of this committee, get activated in your county. It’s incredibly important, one of our biggest issues this year, without a doubt.”