Colorado Republicans just can’t quit about election conspiracies. Tonight in Monte Vista, six county GOP groups that comprise the San Luis Valley Republicans will host a quartet of election conspiracists, all of whom have promoted the debunked theory that the 2020 election was rigged in favor of Joe Biden.

All of the men are regular speakers on what has become a cottage industry of election conspiracists traveling around the country pushing election fraud misinformation. All have been linked to MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who’s been funding much of their work. Jeff Young worked for Lindell’s Cause of America group for two years, before, according to LinkedIn, leaving for a job with a previous employer, Cigna, earlier this year. Young spoke at the Alamosa GOP Lincoln Day Dinner back in April, telling the crowd that election fraud was taking place in their county via out-of-town votes and forged signatures.

Screenshot of Shawn Smith at Jan. 6 insurrection from video posted by

Speaker Shawn Smith participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection and has called for Secretary of State (SOS) Jena Griswold to be hanged.

Dr. Douglas Frank believes that voting results in every county in Colorado were either changed remotely via a software algorithm illegally uploaded to every electronic voting system in the state, or monitored remotely and then manually rigged by conspirators forging signatures of registered voters who didn’t actually cast a ballot. Frank insists this occurred despite the fact that Republican clerks run the vast majority of Colorado counties, most of which have only a few thousand voters who are overwhelmingly Republican.

The fourth speaker at tonight’s event, Jeff O’Donnell, co-authored one of the Mesa County reports, which was thoroughly debunked by District Attorney Dan Rubinstein.

Alamosa GOP Chair Cheryl O’Dowd says it was Young’s April appearance that prompted her and the other party leaders to organize today’s event. The San Luis Valley GOP is made up of the region’s six counties: Alamosa, Rio Grande, Mineral, Saguache, Conejos, and Costilla. She says Young suggested adding the other speakers after interest in the event from both the San Luis Valley GOP and in other neighboring counties such as Montezuma and La Plata.

O’Dowd herself believes the 2020 election was stolen.

Asked specifically about whether that malfeasance includes the local county clerks, she said she doesn’t think they did anything wrong intentionally, but rather that “they can’t control what goes on inside the machines.”

She also blames Griswold, who she says is corrupt. Asked what evidence she has of state-level corruption, O’Dowd said that while participating in a quarterly state election committee call three weeks ago, SOS staff declined to allow a third-party audit of election results.

Alamosa County Clerk Mari Felix, a Republican, says she and her election manager will attend tonight’s event. Felix is in her first term as Clerk but has worked in the office for six years.

“I don’t think the election was rigged at all. I’m planning to go,” said Felix. “They [the SLV GOP] invited me to go. And they did tell us, ‘Hey, we’re just letting you know this is this event is going on. We would like you to be there — wanted you to just have a heads-up as to what’s going to go on.’ So if I could defend myself to defend myself.”

O’Dowd disagrees with Felix’s characterization of their conversation. “That’s not what I told her. I told her ‘You just need to realize you’ve got authority and you need to know what’s coming. So that way you’re prepared and not blindsided by anything.’ Not that she has to defend herself because she didn’t do anything wrong. I have no questions about that. I don’t think any of the county clerks did anything wrong, at least most of them. So there’s no reason that they would have to defend themselves.”

Felix recognizes that GOP distrust in the election process runs deep but says she’s happy to answer any questions that come up at the event.

“I know how my Republican Party is,” said Felix. “Since I started I have tried to convince them, to show them, but it’s still there. It happened before I was here. So if they have questions I’m more than happy to explain it to them, step by step. There’s nothing else I can do for the past, but I can definitely do it for the future and try to answer their questions as much as I can.”

Commenting on the event announcement on Facebook, Fremont County Clerk Justin Grantham, who also serves as president of the Colorado Clerks Association, dismissed the speakers as “self-proclaimed election experts with no real election experience.”

“I have followed each of them since they went on the circuit,” wrote Grantham. “Each of them indicates they know better than the election administrators that actually conduct the election. They have their specialties in their respective fields and I don’t question their personal experiences, but applying their expertise to elections is foolish. It would be like an electrician telling a carpenter how to build a house. With no actual election experience everything they talk about is by an distant observer, which is too bad.”

State Sen. Cleave Simpson, (R-Alamosa)

Another Alamosa Republican, state Sen. Cleave Simpson, says he is unable to attend due to a previous commitment, but otherwise would be there. As someone first elected in 2020, Simpson expressed frustration at what he describes as his party’s inability to let go.

“I’m not in that group that thinks the election was stolen, says Simpson. “I have full confidence that Colorado elections are conducted with integrity and security. If it was rigged, how did Lauren Boebert win? Did they just not rig it well enough to defeat her in 2022? It’s the same system that elected Donald Trump in 2016. It’s the same system that elected me. I appreciate people’s attempt to analyze and look for fault and failure in the system. And I don’t know what happens nationally. I don’t have enough time to dig into the details. I served on the Colorado Bipartisan Election Advisory Commission that meets twice a year as one of the handful of legislators. We sat through the risk-limiting audit in Jefferson County. No county clerk — outside of in Mesa County — has raised any concern or objection, and clerks are dominated by Republican Party representation. I got asked at Durango town hall meeting if I would support banning Dominion voting machines, and I said no.”

Asked how having election denier Dave Williams leading the state party and probably another denier joining the leadership team as Vice Chair, Simpson acknowledged it’s a factor in his future with the party.

“My first term is up next year,” says Simpson. “I haven’t decided yet for certain if I’m going to run again. Part of that is how this flows over the next few months. How much does my party get consumed with the election conspiracy, and ‘it was stolen’ discussion over the coming weeks and months? I want to be and feel compelled to be in the party to help drive us to a better spot where we’re more thoughtfully engaged about what the future looks like and not so much focused on what happened in the past. Unless there are lessons to be learned, but I haven’t seen what those lessons are and it’s been more than two years.”

Asked if the speakers were being paid by the SLV GOP, O’Dowd says the party is only covering expenses such as food and lodging, and that at least one speaker was paying for his own travel. She noted that depending on how much they raise at the door, after paying for the venue rental and refreshments, they might donate any funds left over to the group. “We live in the greatest country in the world and we’re losing it,” says O’Dowd. “We’re losing it because there is corruption at every level. There is evilness out there. And if we don’t start standing up as individuals to fight this corruption, we’re not going to have our country anymore.”

Tonight’s event takes place at 6 p.m. (Doors open 5:30 p.m.), at the SKI HI Event Complex in Monte Vista. Suggested donation $10. It will be livestreamed on Conservative Daily, a conspiracist podcast owned by Joe Oltmann, a far-right extremist who, according to his own sworn court documents, appears to have committed voter fraud himself.