Colorado County officials say a wave of motivated election deniers intent on intimidating voters and electoral judges didn’t materialize in Tuesday’s election, but reported a record variety of ballots on election day.
Election employees have expressed concern that negators – a part of a nationwide try to fabricate evidence of electoral fraud – will swarm polling stations on Tuesday. To arrange, officials stepped up training to assist employees defuse potential conflicts, tightened security measures, and invited denials to their offices to point out them how Colorado’s voting system works.
Executive Director Matt Crane of the Colorado County Officials Association said most election day went easily for county officials across the state.
“We were very pleasantly surprised, there weren’t too many problems world wide,” he said. “I feel there might have been several ballot boxes with just a few aggressive observers, but definitely not as we expected, which is nice.”
Officials across the state, including Larimer County, shared this sentiment.
“I at all times say to our election judges, ‘don’t let the noise get into your head, it’ll never materialize.’ And we’re ready if that happens… nevertheless it just won’t ever materialize, ”said official Angela Myers. “This yr was no different. We had virtually no problems. “
Even so, district officials had reason to be nervous and ready. One man in Chaffee County tried to steal the password from the electoral system last yr, official Lori Mitchell said. And the police arrested a person from Pueblo earlier this month after they said he tampered with the voting machine in the course of the June primaries.
One other Adams County ballot paper was returned containing the suspect substance, and officials turned it over to the FBI. The researchers later determined that the substance was not harmful. Prior to the elections, experts repeatedly warned that officials should prepare themselves for widespread and unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud during or after mid-term.
Locally, they stoke anti-election flames, corresponding to Conservative radio presenter Joe Oltmann of Castle Rock, who this week endorsed Republican governor candidate Heidi Ganahl.
And national figures corresponding to conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, after which Trump himself.
On election day, Ganahl – who received the support of Tina Peters, the accused Mesa County official who was charged with violating the safety of the voting equipment – asked county officials to report the outcomes of the vote in a particular manner that differs from their normal procedures. Ganahl spent the last days of her campaign soliciting individuals who denied the election. (Crane said officials contacted Ganahl early within the campaign to reply any questions on the election process, but her “campaign blew us”.
Election deniers showed no sign of slowing down, and several other experts told The Denver Post in October that they’d watch the 2022 results to predict how loud the denial effort can be in the course of the 2024 presidential election.
But Mitchell said the judges and election observers working in the course of the mid-term elections did a superb job. The one problem the county had on election day was the election staff faced with loads of negative comments and grilling from voters on the Buena Vista polling station. She also said last week that they had a poll observer who was annoying the judges, but that person didn’t come back on the second day.
El Paso County official Chuck Broerman said the judges watched over 3,000 hours of video footage from voting boxes and saw nobody creating problems or dropping more ballots than is legally allowed. There was one one that questioned the mandates of electoral staff, he said, and one other who followed the team collecting ballots, but these were only two cases.
This doesn’t mean, nonetheless, that distinguished election negators have resigned. There’s already some traffic on the Web that should be counted, and it’s wondering why it takes so long to count, said Crane. Oltmann began alleging fraud – without evidence – even before all the outcomes were compiled.
“We are only trying to coach people who what is occurring at once is totally normal. Nothing bad is occurring, said Crane. Crane added that many are unaware that “bad actors and cheats” are lying to them, so the choice employees are doing their best to fight off the lies.
Officials also warned against the spread of pre-election disinformation, including that folks should wander around 24-hour ballot boxes (now under video surveillance), deliberately mis-tag their ballots to be sure they’re counted by hand (so not happening) and wait until 3 p.m. on Election Day to avoid manipulating the votes (there is no such thing as a evidence of tampering and waiting only delays the outcomes).
Nonetheless, some, like Eagle County GOP leaders, continued to inform voters to maintain their ballots until election day, which led to high numbers.
In Chaffee, voters solid 2,900 votes on election day, Mitchell said. In 2020 it was 1032 and in 2018 1811.
In Larimer County, Myers said, almost twice as many as on election day 2020 were delivered on Tuesday. Within the 2016 presidential yr, it was around 45,000.
Likewise, El Paso County had a record variety of votes on election day: 100,000 votes. Based on Broerman, it was 68,000 within the previous elections.
Broerman credited it with increasing the case of individuals telling voters to carry their ballots (which he believes works to the detriment of their parties and candidates) and the length and complexity of ballots this yr – he said it was the longest in El Paso at 34.
Based on an official Carly Koppes in Weld County, although the 45,000 votes received are high, it was the second highest number with more received in 2020.