The scandal over duplicate ballots in Adams County Colorado continues to grow as a poll watcher claims that County Clerk Karen Long has significantly delayed in releasing data that could confirm multiple ballots are a statewide issue.
Adams County GOP Vice Chair and poll watcher Jen Raiffie shared concerns that distribution of multiple ballots may be occurring in other counties, in what amounts to a statewide problem that involves inactive voters receiving more than one ballot.
House Bill 13-1303, also known as the “Voter Fraud Bill” set the stage for all inactive voters to receive ballots, including nearly 30,000 inactive Adams County voters. When this happened, a proper merge of the old and new records did not happen, causing multiple ballots to be mailed to some voters, each with unique ballot and voter ID numbers.
A voter’s registration status may be set to “inactive” for various reasons, including undeliverable mail or a missed vote in an election. A voter may reactivate their status by updating their voter registration file in person or online. If a voter inadvertently created a second instance of their registration instead of updating the original record, then the inactive record remained. Raiffie explained that this was never a problem until the inactive records were made active.
Raiffie alleges the Adams County Clerk’s office is acting awry of the law by not providing her the requested data that would allow her to check for double or multiple votes.
Colorado Statute (COLO. REV. STAT. § 1-7-108(3)) gives poll watchers the right to witness and verify each step in the election’s conduct, including access to data that was sent to the vendor who printed and mailed ballots, as well as daily ballot counts, challenges, and judge appointments. Raiffie stated: “I have been waiting on this data file and daily reports for nearly two weeks now. This includes critical data that will validate we have a statewide problem with people receiving not just duplicate ballots but multiple ballots, as a result of a merge failure when inactive voters were turned active.”
After receiving an incorrect data file in response to a request for specific raw data along with several unanswered emails, Raiffie made a personal visit to address the issue with Adams County Clerk Karen Long. Raiffie reported she was forced to wait two hours at the central election office this past Friday to speak to Long. She said that Long admitted that the data sent was not what was requested and told her that the Secretary of State had to authorize release of data in order to maintain data security concerns.
Raiffie did not want to speculate about the delays, but described them as unacceptable given the nature of the issues at hand. She said, “I understand the need to maintain data security on the raw data file I requested, but I have no idea why I am being refused daily reports.” Daily reports include such data as the total number of ballots received, total ballots cast in person, total emergency ballots issued by email, total number of ballots challenged, total number of ballots printed on demand, and total number of ballots needing signature verification.
Raiffie said the merge problem has been a known concern since the legislations was introduced. She stressed that the data she is requesting is critical because there are no stopgaps in place to prevent multiple ballots from being voted.
“It is an inherent problem with the new law,” Raiffie said. “Neither the Clerks, nor the Secretary of State may even have the authority to correct the problem. It is not incumbent upon the County Clerks or the Secretary of State to assume that two voter registrations with the same name at the same address might be for the same voter, but it is incumbent upon all local parties to monitor for potential fraud and abuse.”
Aside from the delay in providing critical data in order for Raiffie to check for multiple votes, the Adams County Clerk and Recorder’s office has already come under fire for sending out duplicate ballots, incorrect ballots, and misspelled ballots. A complaint was also filed with the Secretary of State’s office detailing how an election assistant—acting on behalf of the county—was party to the ousting of a media representative as a polling observer.
Even if the merge issue only affects a small percentage of Adams County voters, there are still 337 extra ballots that could have been illegally cast from errors blamed on the printer—that’s 243 duplicates and 94 incorrect ballots confirmed so far. Reviewing voter data is the only way to monitor for abuse. Raiffie said “Political races have been decided by far less, and Adams is just one of 64 counties in Colorado.”
In Adams County, that could mean up to six ballots per voter with a duplicate registration, given the “printer issues” acknowledged by the county clerk.
Raiffie still has to parse the voter lists to monitor for potential duplicate and multiple votes,but one cannot parse data they do not have. She still has received no response to her requests for the raw data file or her outstanding daily reports.