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Colorado GOP without evidence alleges ‘systemic fraud’ and tells canvas boards not to certify November election

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Sara Wilson

(Colorado Newsline) The Colorado Republican Party is advising county canvass boards to not certify results from the November 7 statewide election, alleging without evidence that the process is a “rigged system” and promoting debunked conspiracy theories on election insecurity.

In an email sent to GOP supporters November 22, former state Rep. Ron Hanks, who now serves as the party’s Ballot and Election Security Committee chairman, wrote that certifying the election would imply the party’s “acceptance of a disastrous process and declare we acquiesced to their systemic fraud and personal corruption.”

Coloradans voted on two statewide propositions and various local issues in the November 7 election.

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County canvass boards are made up of members from both parties and look at data to check for accuracy of election night results. They are in charge of certifying the official abstract of votes by reconciling the number of ballots counted with the number of ballots cast, and the number of ballots cast with the number of people who voted. It is typically a non-controversial and simple process.

Hanks compared the canvass boards, however, to a “facade of citizen oversight and a rubber stamp.”

He also criticized Colorado’s use of Dominion Voting Systems machines and a mistake from Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s office last year when 30,000 noncitizens received voter registration information. Election security experts have repeatedly defended Dominion machines in the wake of misinformation since the 2020 presidential election, and the postcard mixup from Griswold did not result in any noncitizen successfully registering to vote or voting.

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Hanks, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate last year, is one of the state’s loudest deniers of the 2020 presidential election results. He attended the pro-Donald Trump rally in Washington, D.C., that preceded the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. He served one term in the Colorado House of Representatives.

The email is the latest example of the far-right, conspiratorial leanings of the state Republican party since former state Rep. Dave Williams took over as chair earlier this year. Hanks tied its message to the 2024 election, which he said “will be an epic battle.”

“Our standing and credibility will be upheld if we reject the corruption of the unchanged voting process — in Colorado and throughout our nation,” he wrote.

In an emailed statement Wednesday, Griswold called Colorado’s elections safe and secure.

“I encourage members of the canvass board to follow election rules and procedure. We will not allow bad actors to interfere with the will of voters,” Griswold said.

Colorado Newsline is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: info@coloradonewsline.com. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.