Dec. 8, 2023
Dear Colorado Elected Officials:
As the 2024 presidential election cycle approaches, your voices are needed to secure our elections and reassure Colorado that our elections are among the best in the nation. Unfortunately, it is clear that those who spread lies and distrust of our institutions aren’t going away and, in some cases, are better resourced and louder than ever.
These efforts to undermine our elections have taught us one ultimate lesson: It is far easier to manipulate people than to manipulate our election system. That is why these election deniers focus their efforts on convincing voters their vote doesn’t count. Some election deniers continue to charge Coloradoans money for the privilege of lying to them. They lie for political and financial gain. These people are not heroes, they are dishonest actors, grifters, and bullies, who deserve only our disdain and contempt.
Many of their current lies center around the fact that they do not like the outcome of a specific vote rather than any issues with the election itself.
But here’s the catch: they cannot have it both ways.
If elections in Colorado are “unfair,” as some claim, how do they explain the colossal defeat the tax measure Proposition HH suffered on Nov. 7? Election results show 59 percent of Coloradans voted against it, and only 41 percent were “yes” votes. Was that unfair?
Some of the same folks who delighted at Prop HH’s demise and believe that outcome was accurate still believe that President Trump won the 2020 presidential election, although all evidence and testimony from Trump’s own legal team completely reject the claim that the election was stolen.
To review, former Trump attorneys Sydney Powell and Jenna Ellis both pled guilty to charges they sought to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. Ellis, a native of Colorado, stated, “If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges. I look back on this experience with deep remorse.” Furthermore, President Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told investigators that he agreed with a government assessment that the 2020 presidential election was the most secure election in U.S. history.
Let’s be clear: Undermining a legal election is not an American ideal. If you are someone who continues to support the same lies that Powell, Ellis, and Meadows once peddled and have now rejected, you are undermining our Constitution. Elections are won or lost based on who votes, not on who can create and finance a legal strategy to undermine the majority of voters.
Colorado’s election administrators want all eligible voters to vote in 2024 and have their votes counted as cast. Here is why you should trust our elections and what you should share with anyone who comes to you with questions and concerns:
- Colorado’s elections are run by professionals. Election officials are certified in Colorado election administration before conducting their first election, and continuing education requirements are mandatory. They prepare, plan, and practice their plans year-round to make sure they are ready for whatever comes their way and can maintain the security, accuracy, and accessibility of the election.
- Colorado’s elections are conducted by multi-partisan poll workers. It’s these well-trained poll workers (democratic, republican, unaffiliated, minor parties) who verify voter eligibility, review every signature, and tabulate every ballot cast in Colorado.
- Colorado’s elections are transparent. There is meaningful citizen participation and observation across the entire election process. Political parties appoint election judges who conduct our elections. Political party-appointed watchers observe the process at each stage to ensure compliance with federal and state law. From signature review to ballot counting, to post-election auditing, every step of the process has meaningful transparency and oversight.
Now is the time for courage, not cowardice. It’s time to put the mission of governing and upholding the Constitution over political ambition. If you’re an elected official, it’s because the majority of voters in your district checked your name on the ballot and entrusted you to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the State of Colorado. We need you now to come forward and help us correct the record and regain trust taken from our elections by bullies and bad actors through a concerted national and statewide effort to deceive, not through any problems with our actual voting systems.
Another consequence of lies about our elections is the very real threats against our election officials here in Colorado and across the country the lies have spawned. These threats are ongoing, as we have seen during the November 2023 Election.
None of this is to say that we can’t work to improve our elections, both in terms of access and integrity. Colorado clerks and recorders work on making these improvements every day. However, the ongoing lies about our elections undermine our democracy, run the risk of suppressing voter turnout, and create an environment that normalizes the intimidation, doxing, and threatening of those who conduct our elections.
Here are a few things you can do to help:
- Do not be bullied and intimidated by these bad actors. If you hear lies about our elections, speak up and defend them as the fair and accurate elections they are.
- If you aren’t sure about the information you are hearing, reach out to your county clerk for the facts before you share that information. Your clerk and recorder is the professional election administrator in your county. You are doing this wrong if you are paying someone to tell you about elections. Your clerk and recorder will tell you the truth about our elections and will do so for free.
- Encourage members of your community to get involved in elections by serving as an election judge, participating in public tests of election equipment, or simply attending an open house with their county clerk. Our elections are open, transparent, and conducted by our fellow citizens. They are run locally so citizens can be involved.
We can’t repair our democracy and regain the trust of our citizens without you. We need your courage and your voice to help us counter the lies and amplify the truth. Our elections depend on it.
Colorado County Clerks Association Executive Board
Executive Director, Matt Crane
President, Justin Grantham, Fremont County Clerk
President –Elect, Molly Fitzpatrick, Boulder County Clerk
Vice President, Hayle Johnson, Jackson County Clerk
Past President, Carly Koppes, Weld County Clerk
Secretary, Corinne Lengel, Lincoln County Clerk
Treasurer, Susan Corliss, Kit Carson County Clerk
Central Region Chair, Sheri Davis, Douglas County Clerk
Eastern Region Chair, Annie Kuntz, Washington County Clerk
Southern Region Chair, Kim Percell, Montezuma County Clerk
Western Region Chair, Brenda Corbett, Clear Creek County Clerk