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CO: Duplicate ballots, other election problems plague Adams County

This story is the third and final part of a series about concerns related to election integrity in Adams County. See also “County clerk’s delayed ballot count reporting is politics as usual” and “Loopholes in election law circumvent signature verification in Adams County.”

As Coloradans prepare to hear general election results tonight, important concerns remain unanswered about the integrity of the vote under new election laws.

A recent open records request shows the Adams County Election Department has long engaged with Election Software & Solutions (ES&S) for on-call “election support.” ES&S has a long history of controversy around the security of voting machines. Could it be purely coincidental that Adams has also had a history of these same “random problems” now being experienced with voting machines in Illinois recording votes other than what the voter selected, such those in 2012 and 2008?

ES&S claims to be an Omaha, Nebraska-based company, but when phoned, lines were transferred to their warehouse in Mississippi where they then directed us to their “headquarters” in Chicago. The company manufactures and sells voting machine equipment and services including vote tabulators, direct-recording electronic (DRE) machines, voter registration and election management systems, ballot-marking devices, electronic poll books, Ballot on Demand printing services, and absentee voting-by-mail services.

Duplicate Ballots

Some voters in Adams County have received duplicate ballots. According to a 9 News report, Adams County Clerk Karen Long blames the printer and thinks over 230 voters are affected.  Some may be in receipt of a letter, informing them of the problem.

Watchdog Wire spoke to two of these individuals. One Democrat is seeking legal counsel and refuses to vote or surrender either back to the clerk. She said, “I don’t trust her.” The other is an unaffiliated voter who received one ballot addressed to her using her middle initial, and the second with her full middle name. Both ballots were identical, except they had different tracking numbers, which means both will be counted in the event both ballots are cast.

Such problems may be the result of a known inherit problem with the new election laws that automatically switches all previous inactive voters to active status, so every registered voter could get a mail ballot.  When the switch was made, multiple voter registration instances in the database could not be merged, leaving many with multiple active registration entries and some to receive multiple valid ballots on which to vote.

According to the Secretary of State’s response to a Watchdog Wire data request, nearly 30,000 ballots were sent to inactive voters in Adams County. The statewide number is potentially much larger.

It is not against the law for the clerk to mail out duplicate ballots, nor is it incumbent upon the clerk to assume that just because there may be two people with the same name registered at one address, that they are the same person. What triggered these voters getting duplicate ballots this year? Both voters we spoke to said it had never happened before, and both are regular voters. The bigger question is how many more are out there and of those duplicate ballots, how many will be cast?

Voters who receive duplicate ballots are advised to document them through photographs, destroy one, and vote the other. A new non-partisan citizen-run “election integrity squad” called Election Watch CO is requesting people contact them to report duplicate ballots so they can document as many instances as possible to gauge the severity of the problem, and have evidence in the event there is a legal challenge. They have a Facebook pageemail, and Google form posted where people can fill out an incident report or request assistance.

Ballot Harvesting

9 News indicated during its broadcast that “recovery teams” have been deployed to recover duplicate ballots. Herein lies a new concern:  Who are these “recovery agents,” and how can they distinguish themselves from other ballot harvesters?

Voters should also be aware of the unenforceable 10-ballot rule, which caps the amount of ballots any individual may deliver to a drop box or polling center. Conveniently, the many 24-hour ballot drop boxes are inviting to ballot harvesters trying to “recycle”as many ballots as they can.  The concerns around ballot harvesting and what happens after those ballots are dropped are far greater, placing a priority on the need for a secure and effective signature verification process.

In a Project Veritas undercover operation released on October 22 by James O’Keefe, entrenched Adams County Democrat Nicole Hanlen can be seen in the video sting exposing Democratic efforts to harvest ballots from trash bins for the purpose of committing voter fraud.  At the 5-minute, 30-second mark, Nicole Hanlen encourages a young woman to test out Colorado’s new voter fraud laws. Nicole is campaign manager both for Rep. Joe Salazar, and for embattled sheriff candidate Rick Reigenborn. She also is the common law wife of the Adams County Democratic Chair Jim Joy.

Since the release of the Project Veritas video, Adams County Democrats have gone dark and silent. They even changed the security settings of their once-public Facebook page to closed.

Additional concerns have been raised from Boulder County, where local Republicans have filed suit against County Clerk Hillary Hall for allegedly not allowing the party’s poll watchers enough time to review signatures for accuracy. Boulder County GOP chairwoman Ellyn Hilliard yesterday called in to AM 560 KLZ radio to report that 15 to 20 new voter registrations are occurring per hour under the new election laws. She said many of the registrations are coming from applicants with state IDs issued about a week ago.

Jen Raiffie

Jen Raiffie is the 3rd Vice Chair for Adams County GOP, newly elected to the Mapleton School Board and Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB). She runs a blog called Spotlight On Corruption, and is the co-founder of a video tracking group called "Chicks With Cameraz." Follow Jen on twitter @jraiffie and @spotcorruption. Jen's contributions do not reflect that of Mapleton Schools, CASB, or AdCo GOP. "Evil is made possible by the sanction you give it. Withdraw your sanction." -Rand

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Categories: Elections, Must Read

RELATED ARTICLES

  1. CO: Duplicate ballots, other election problems plague Adams County
  2. Loopholes in election law circumvent signature verification in Adams County
  3. CO: County clerk’s delayed ballot count reporting is politics as usual
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