Bush EAC Appointee Named in Colorado Elections Intimidation Complaint
Donetta Davidson—known for her previous work as an appointee by President George W, Bush to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC)—was identified in an October 24, 2014 elections intimidation complaint. Nancy Wenlock of the Prairie Times filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State which gave her account of being turned way from a voting site as a media observer, laying out Davidson’s role in the matter.
According to the complaint, Davidson bullied the Prairie Times writer and was complicit in denying her access to polling areas at the Villas at Sunny Acres, a nursing home and retirement facility in Adams County run by Centura Health. Initially Wenlock was allowed to enter the voting areas, but then was ordered to leave by a facility administrator. The complaint states that when the administrator told Wenlock to leave the building, Davidson then accused Wenlock of violating HIPAA laws and told her that violating HIPAA was a felony.
However, media is not subject to HIPAA laws that were enacted to prevent health care providers from sharing private medical information. With Davidson’s extensive experience in elections, it is unclear why she would falsely claim that observing polling at a nursing facility would be in violation of HIPAA. Colorado election rules give media the right to observe all election activities.
Davidson appeared to be acting as an employee of Adams County under the direction of County Clerk Karen Long. Politichicks obtained a copy of Davidson’s employee application dated October 20, 2014 for the position of Elections Administrative Assistant.
The complaint states that the facility administrator told Wenlock that the election judges did not want her watching them. There were no other poll watchers present and the judges were assisting residents one-on one. Davidson took no action to ensure transparency in the balloting process or to maintain voting areas open to observers.
The complaint reads:
“The ‘Consultant’ Donetta Davidson did not say one single word or take a single action to help me gain access to the vote center. She never objected in any way to everything that was done to keep me away from the vote center. She not only did NOT defend media access to the voting process but she piled on with intimidation herself.”
In her current position as Executive Director of the Colorado County Clerks Association, Davidson supported voter reforms enacted through the passage of House Bill 13-1303—which was widely referred to as the “Voter Fraud Bill.” The legislation changed Colorado’s election process into an all mail-in ballot election and enabled same-day voter registration without a valid ID. She also supported a bill in 2012 (HB 1036) that blocked media and voter watchdog groups access to ballots for examination in a timely manner.
Appointed to the EAC by George W. Bush and confirmed by the US Senate, Davidson served as a commissioner from 2005-2011. Her previous experience includes an appointment to the position of Colorado Secretary of State by then Governor Bill Owen in 1999; and was subsequently elected and served in that role until 2005. Past positions also include serving as the Bent County Clerk and Recorder and the Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder.
One Web site bio on Davidson states: “Despite her family’s Democratic background, she joined the Republican Party ‘simply because they asked me.’”