GOP State Reps Ask For Election Investigation In Spite Of Audit That Uncovered No Problems

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Early voting at the Ball Arena in Denver On Monday. Nov. 2, 2020, the day before Election Day.

A group of Republican state lawmakers is asking the Democratic Speaker of the House to form a special committee on election integrity and conduct an independent forensic audit of the Dominion Voting Systems technology used in Colorado.

The request comes days after the Colorado GOP hosted a discussion to try to reassure its members that the state’s elections are secure and reliable. During the event, a Republican election official referred to Colorado’s system as the “gold standard.”

That apparently wasn’t enough to reassure the seven Representatives and one incoming lawmaker, who signed on to Monday’s letter.

“Given the fact that Dominion Voting Systems is headquartered in Colorado and that legitimate concerns regarding election fraud have been raised by President Donald J. Trump, it should be a priority of the General Assembly to put to rest all doubt in the integrity of our elections and push to decertify any results if overwhelming fraud is found,” said Rep. Dave Williams of Colorado Springs, in a press release that accompanied the letter to the House Speaker. 

By law, all Colorado counties conduct risk-limiting audits after each election, double-checking the scanning machines’ tallies against the actual votes on the original paper ballots. This year’s audits did not uncover any problems. The Secretary of State plans to certify the statewide election results on Tuesday.

The letter states there is a need for a “third party independent forensic audit of the elections software and machines.” Republican Rep. Kevin Van Winkle of Castle Rock, who also signed the letter, did not return a request to explain how that would differ from the audit the state conducts.

Speaker of the House KC Becker was quick to shoot down the demand for an additional audit, calling the request a “dangerous stunt.” Becker said the House members were trafficking in “debunked conspiracy theories.” She noted Dominion was selected by a bipartisan committee under the administration of a Republican Secretary of State. 

“Since its adoption, Dominion machines have been tested in 62 Colorado counties at least 868 times. They have passed every test,” said former Secretary of State, Republican Wayne Williams, who now serves on the Colorado Springs city council. 

Williams pointed out that Colorado requires the participation of bipartisan election judges throughout the process, as well as video surveillance and signature verification on ballots. And the public is allowed to review individual paper ballots, which do not have any personally identifiable information on them, under the state’s open records laws.

“One of the great things about Colorado’s system is we can prove Colorado counted accurately,” Williams said. “The evidence is pretty clear that there is no way that President Trump got the majority of votes in Colorado and neither did Cory Gardner.”  

Colorado’s final results show Democrat Joe Biden winning the state by 13.5 points and Democrat John Hickenlooper defeating incumbent U.S Senator Cory Gardner by 9.4 points.

"This is a political thing. It has nothing to do with facts in Colorado," said Pam Anderson, executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association of the letter. “Colorado's public bipartisan canvass and audit boards verified that there were no kind of election irregularities as described. If lawmakers are worried about fraud, why wait for a hearing in January? They need to go to their district attorney right now.”