On Thursday August 11, Kiowa County Clerk & Recorder Delisa Weeks and Cheyenne County Clerk & Recorder Pat Daugherty, among others, in their official capacity, was served a Petition Under C.R.S. §§ 1-1-113 and 1-10.5-109 and for Injunctive Relief Pursuant to C.R.C.P 65 requiring Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who is currently running for re-election on the Democratic ticket, to stop the recount currently under way across the state of Colorado regarding Ms. Peters’ requested recount of the GOP nomination for the office of Secretary of State for the State of Colorado. Every clerk & recorder in the state has been served with the filing.
The first recount in the state of Colorado for more than 20 years began, per Griswold’s direction, on July 29 and had to be ended by August 4. The recount was requested by Peters in a Complaint Letter filed by Peters to Griswold on July 12th stating she believed the Republican Primary for Secretary of State had significant issues with the election machines used to count the votes.
Griswold responded to the complaint stating Peters would have to secure $250,000 in order to pay for the recount and further, the recount would be done with the machines—again in the exact same manner already performed despite the fact it was the machines’ accuracy in question.
On July 15, Peters responded with an Objection Letter to the machine recount and again requested a hand recount be conducted. In addition, Peters informed the Secretary of State that she would submit the required $250,000 fee to be held in escrow.
By July 28, Griswold send out the Order to Recount Using the Machines and added Guidance for the Recount to every clerk and recorder in the state. That’s when mass confusion ensued as there was little guidance that was understood, far from standard procedures being done, and suspect results that immediately came to light.
In El Paso County the Logic & Accuracy Testing required by the SOS failed miserably sending 53% of the ballots to adjudication—a percentage completely unacceptable. Dominion was called in and assisted El Paso and a number of other counties conduct their machine counts. The company’s presence was called into question by numerous election watchdogs across the state.
Dominion representatives said the large amount of error ballots was completely expected, but Peters’ camp says that is absolutely not true. When the machines finished counting the 623,000 votes, as expected when you compare apples to apples, the same results were spit out—give or take 15 to 20 votes.
Matt Crane, who is the head of the Colorado County Clerk Association and a Republican, but who is also married to a Dominion employee, wrote in a statement after the machine recount, “The recount she [Peters] asked for showed she lost, just as our post-election audits already held in every county and certified by volunteer citizen canvass boards found.”
But supporters of Peters insist she has been asking for the hand recount, she has paid for the process, and she deserves to get the opportunity for Colorado to recount by hand. In a press release put out by Peters’ camp they state, “The central point of the Peters’ campaign lawsuit is very simple, Colorado law (C.R.S. § 1-10.5-102 (3)(b)) states that if there are discrepancies between a machine and a hand count, that cannot be explained by voter error, then “voter verified paper records” should be used to make a final determination. Except, the hand count must be of the ballots that were cast in the race, not test ballots that in this case were used. After the hand count of all of the ballots that a randomly selected device tabulated on election day, the canvass board is then supposed to compare the two, before deciding on what method to use in the recount. They didn’t do that.”
Originally Ron Hanks, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate who seemingly lost in the June 28 primary to Joe O’Dea, was part of the request for a recount as his race results were eerily similar to Peters despite both of them leading in the polls and having top line position after the State Republican Convention that chose Peters and Hanks in huge percentages over their opponents, both who petitioned to get on the ballot.
However, Hanks, when the monetary stakes were raised by the SOS could not meet the obligation.
Also, originally 7 El Paso County Republican candidates questioned the outcome of their races including a rather obvious problem in the Lynda Zamora-Wilson race for State Senate District 9. Zamora-Wilson paid $20,000 to stay in the recount request in El Paso County and is still challenging the results in that county.
On the night of June 28th, Zamora-Wilson was leading her opponent substantially in a 70% to 30% margin as the clock went past 8:00 pm. Even Fox 31 had called the race for Zamora-Wilson. But within an hour, those exact percentages had magically switched in favor of her opponent.
Secretary of State Griswold has 21 days to respond to Peters’ request for a hand recount per the injunction filed on Thursday by Peters. In the meantime, Clerk & Recorders across the 64 counties in Colorado, including Delisa Weeks in Kiowa County and Pat Daugherty in Cheyenne County, will have to wait and see what comes next in this battle against the machines.