JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The Jefferson County GOP is calling for an audit of the 2018 and 2020 elections, expressing concerns with the Dominion Voting Systems technology the county and 61 others across the state use in elections.
The criticism is part of growing national rhetoric against the company, even as states certify their election results.
Most publicly, during a press conference last week, President Trump’s personal legal team made a series of unsubstantiated claims against the company, many of which have since been debunked.
On its website, Dominion Voting Systems dedicated its main page to clearing up some of the misinformation that has been going around, insisting that the systems are secure and have been certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
The company told Denver7 that the allegations are so serious its employees are being harassed and threatened, there are protests at its Denver headquarters and that one employee even had a bounty put out on them.
What is Jefferson County GOP asking for?
In a letter sent to Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder George Stern, the group asked for an audit of the 2018 and 2020 elections to see whether there are any discrepancies. The group also asked for a review of the software code and an audit of the security procedures for the electronic equipment, among other things.
“There’s just some reservations that I had about the dominion software in particular,” said the group’s chair, Denise Mund.
Mund says the Jefferson County GOP has a good working relationship with the county clerk and that she considers the election process in the county to be very transparent. She even added that they had hundreds of poll watchers in the polling centers this election and many had commented to her about how great of a job the county was doing.
“I have a great deal of confidence in JeffCo’s election process,” she said. “I’m not alleging that there is any election fraud or anything inappropriate happened.”
Despite this, Mund says there are some things that just don’t seem right to her and rather than have a lingering suspicion, she’d like an audit to put any uncertainty to rest once and for all.
“I do think it goes a long way toward building trust if the parties are willing to take a deeper look at things,” she said.
To be clear, Jefferson County and every other county across the state already conducted a risk-limiting audit and certified its election results since a majority of groups decided to sign off on them.
Mund says she wants a larger sample size and for the ballots to be run through a non-Dominion system in order make sure the results are the same.
However, there is a cost associated with an audit or recount. Normally, when an election is close in Colorado and within a half percentage point, the jurisdiction will pay for a recount.
Jefferson County didn’t have an election that would fall under those parameters, meaning the cost burden would fall on the party requesting the audit or recount.
“We realize there a cost associated with doing an audit and we are willing to accept that within reason,” Mund said.
Jefferson County keeps its ballots for 25 months after an election in case an audit is ever requested.
Trust in the system
While some have expressed concerns in Colorado’s use of Dominion Voting, former Republican Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams insists the process is accurate.
“I have absolutely no doubt with the way Dominion operates in Colorado and with the protections we have in Colorado law,” Williams said.
Williams said since coming to Colorado, the machines have been tested more than 800 times in the state and have not been found to have counting errors.
“In every instance they had found that the Dominion scanners had counted accurately and that has been our experience in Colorado,” Williams says.
However, Williams says he can only speak for Colorado since the state has a robust election security system in place. In other states, Williams has his doubts since he says the process is not as rigorous.
He doesn’t believe that an audit of the 2018 election, which he oversaw, is necessary and trusts the results. Still, he acknowledges the group’s right to request one.
“Colorado ballots are public record and so following the election anyone can audit them to their heart's content,” he said.
In the end, though, Williams says there are two important parts of an election: Ensuring it was conducted accurately and ensuring voters have confidence in it.
He hopes the state can have discussions moving forward to bring even more transparency and confidence to the process.
For its part, the Colorado Republican Party and GOP chairman, U.S. Congressman Ken Buck, sent out an email Tuesday saying they have gotten a lot of questions about election security.
They’ve decided to host a discussion featuring three Republican county clerks from El Paso, Weld and Montrose counties next Wednesday to talk about the measures put in place to keep elections safe and explain how the process works.