Joe Oltmann, leader of the conservative activist group FEC United, says he’s part of an organized effort to monitor ballot drop-off boxes not only in Colorado but in 45 states across the country.
“We have cameras on ballot boxes in 45 states,” he told the Colorado Times Recorder yesterday. “We’re then digesting that information.”
“And the county clerks and recorders, they are listening,” he said. “And they’re going, ‘Okay, we’re in. We want to be able to monitor the activity in all of these states.’ We have country clerks that are talking to each other.”
Asked if it’s just his organization — which has affiliated groups in Michigan and possibly other states — that’s monitoring the ballot boxes, Oltmann declined to provide details but said, “It’s not just me. It’s a group of people across the country that have come together and said, ‘All right, they are lying to the American people. They are lying to the media. They’re propping themselves up as experts. They’re not experts. We want to see their credentials. We’re doing it on all sides.’
“This election is going to give us the last bit of information we need in multiple states in order to get to the place where we can put our finger on the entire election system — the apparatus itself — being not only flawed but fraudulent,” says Oltmann, who’s facing lawsuits from journalist Sarah Ashton-Cirillo and Dominion employee Eric Coomer. A judge recently ruled against Oltmann in his claim that Coomer’s lawsuit was frivolous.
Oltmann refers to unnamed county clerks who are on his side and are assembling information now to “secure hand counts.”
“County clerks and recorders across the nation do not believe that the election was fair and free in 2020, 2021, and 2022,” he said. “And there’s a lot of county clerks and recorders right now that are recording information to make sure that it’s accurate.
“They are also doing things that are necessary in order to make sure they can secure hand counts. And they are watching things like the adjudication process very closely. If we get people to show up on time and vote in person then we have a better of being able to control or see the spikes and differences. And then we are also, by the way, comparing that information from state to state.”
Oltmann has made claims previously about allegiances with county clerks that have yet to materialize.
Oltmann says he’s already gathered evidence of illegal activity at ballot boxes and passed it to law enforcement, but he refused to say where.
“We have people who are showing up at ballot boxes that are covering their license plate,” he alleges. “They are coming back over and over again.”
“They will leave, drop off three or four ballots, go, come back, because they’ve got paper or tape over their license plates.”
Asked if he had a video of this that he could share with the Colorado Times Recorder, he said no because he’s sharing it with law enforcement.
He instructs his activists not to talk to anyone at the ballot boxes, even if they are doing something illegal. “Just record it, mark it down, make sure you know who they are, and move on,” he says.
He insists he doesn’t want to create fear or instigate violence.
FEC United’s instructions on how to organize ballot-box-watching parties in Colorado include the statement, “You are there to deter crime, so be obvious. If no crime happens, that’s a successful shift.”
The instructions also advise ballot box watchers to park their cars so that the car lights shine on the ballot boxes and do not say not to bring guns to the dropbox locations, despite a Colorado law forbidding the open-carry of guns within 100 yards of a voting location.
“No one even has an interest in showing up with guns,” says Oltmann.
“I would never tell anyone to do anything violent.” he says. “I’ve cracked jokes about building gallows from border to border because there are two ways you can handle life. One is angry and two is humor. And when you mix those two together a little bit, you can reach into the hearts of people and bring them down a notch. People out there are enraged.
He says members of the United American Defense Force (UADF), a militia and partner organization that he says provides security at FEC United events, may show up at the ballot-watching events as individuals but “no one shows up with guns.”
In a news release today urging citizens to vote, Secretary of State Jena Griswold said voter “intimidation” will not be “tolerated.”
“Colorado elections are accessible, secure, and transparent. Voter intimidation is illegal. Any intimidation or harassment that interferes with voters’ right to make their voices heard will not be tolerated,” said Griswold in the release.
“Colorado’s sheriffs are committed to protecting every voter’s right to cast their ballot in a safe and reliable election, and we stand ready to aid our local county election workers in ensuring that this year’s election is a success,” said Rio Blanco County Sheriff Anthony Mazzola on behalf of the County Sheriffs of Colorado association in the same news release.
Oltmann believes people should hold their ballots and vote in person.
Leaders of both the Democratic and Republican Parties are encouraging their supporters to vote as soon as possible.
On Sunday, Joe Jackson, the Executive Director of the Colorado Republican Party, sent an email to Republicans with the subject line, “Everyone is voting. Don’t be left out.”
“We urge you to vote as soon as possible so our teams can shift from contacting you and instead focus on contacting the low-propensity and swing voters who are critical to Republican wins,” wrote Jackson. “However, we will continue to contact you until your ballot has been returned.“
Jackson also stated, “If you see anything suspicious or concerning regarding ballot or election security, please immediately call our hotline at 303-345-0933.”
When the Colorado GOP initially launched its Election Integrity Operations Team, Kristi Burton Brown announced her party’s new project and praised its new leader, election conspiracist Emily Brake.
During his interview Tuesday, Oltmann pushed back on the label of him as “right-wing extremist,” even though his belief in widespread election fraud has been roundly rejected by courts, audits, and experts working with clerks of both parties around the country. He says, “Yet, I’m the right-wing extremist who’s spent the most time giving back to impoverished communities and the impoverished among us. … My business partner is a gay, married Jewish father of two. My dad is black, my mom is white, my entire family is interracial.”
Otmann says he voted for Obama in 2008. He’s still deciding whether vote for Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea, saying O’Dea “played politics” and “people like authenticity.” But he says he’ll vote, despite his problems with the election technology and his view that “they stole” not only the 2020 election, but also this year’s GOP primaries in Colorado.