After getting a firm "no" from Speaker of the House KC Becker on Monday, House Republicans aren't giving up on their efforts to find evidence of election irregularities.
Legislative Audit Committee chair Rep. Lori Saine, a Dacono Republican, has scheduled a special meeting of the committee next Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 10 a.m., to examine questions around election integrity.
A news release from Saine and 19 other current House Republicans said that due to "increasing calls from constituents across the state to perform an audit of Colorado’s election systems, and the recent request denial of lawmakers seeking transparency through a special committee on election integrity, the Legislative Audit Committee will hold a special hearing next week to hear testimony and learn from expert witnesses regarding the integrity of Colorado’s election processes during the 2020 General Election, and related concerns surrounding Dominion Voting Systems."
The news release cited as evidence voter registration postcards from the Secretary of State's Office "intentionally sent to ineligible individuals." That was debunked last September by Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
The postcards were sent out to encourage people to register to vote. Griswold told CBS4 that the postcards are not the same as a ballot mailing, provided clear information on how to register to vote, and that the mailing list was compiled by a third-party vendor that used motor vehicle records and the Social Security Death Index. "Mailings aren't 100% correct," Griswold said.
The House GOP news release said the incident led to an official complaint and request for investigation to the US Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission. The news release also noted that the state is being sued by Judicial Watch, which alleged the state's voter rolls were outdated and that counties had more registered voters than residents eligible to vote.
That was also debunked. Attorney Christopher Jackson said in October that the Judicial Watch lawsuit ignored federal law and used data sources that measure different things and then mashed it all together to reach conclusions about voter registration numbers.
Betsy Hart, spokeswoman for the secretary of state, said in an email in October that "by misinterpreting data, this blatantly partisan group seeks to undermine the election. The claims made by this group are based solely on a comparison between real-time voter registration information and outdated census data. The population of our state has grown considerably over the last several years and the number of registered voters has predictably increased as well." Judd Choate, elections director for the secretary of state’s office, told Westword that Judicial Watch doesn't understand federal voting laws. "You can’t just remove somebody because you don’t like their voter file," he said. "You have to remove them under federal law.”
The state filed a motion to dismiss in U.S. District Court on Monday, noting that Judicial Watch lacked standing to bring the issue.
The House GOP news release noted that they had asked Becker for a special committee on election transparency. Becker rejected the request, calling it a dangerous stunt intended to undermine voter confidence. In her response to the Republicans, sent on Tuesday, Becker said the Secretary of State’s Office, "as well as our local clerks across the state, are subject-matter experts and have in fact conducted risk-limiting audits in this and every election. The clerks, a majority of whom are Republican, have not asked for a forensic audit, nor have they or anyone else provided evidence of fraud that warrant a new or additional audit. Indeed, just last week, several Republican county clerks re-affirmed that Colorado’s elections are safe and accurate. Your own letter doesn’t offer any evidence of why an audit is needed, only referring to unsubstantiated rumors. And I have seen no evidence of any fraud occurring in Colorado’s 2020 election. Therefore, I do not support using public funds to investigate President Trump’s spurious claims of election fraud. To do so would be a reckless misuse of taxpayer dollars and a betrayal of the trust of the people of Colorado."
Saine countered on Wednesday that "it should not be a partisan issue to ensure that Colorado elections are free, fair, and secure from fraud. It is our duty as elected representatives of the people to put to rest any doubt the public may have concerning the integrity of our elections. Legitimate questions have been raised by our constituents across the state and the Legislative Audit Committee will act to address those questions even when a ruling majority refuses to do so,” Saine said. She told Colorado Politics that Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems has been asked to send someone to the hearing. Dominion employees have received death threats as a result of conspiracy theories around the election; at least one, a resident of Colorado's House District 60, is now in hiding.
The audit committee is made up of four Republicans and four Democrats. Vice-chair Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, an Aurora Democrat, said she questioned whether the meeting was legit, and that she will be there.
The hearing comes about 24 hours after the Electoral College is scheduled to vote to elect former Vice-President Joe Biden as President of the United States.