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Adams County GOP Refuses to Certify Election, but That Won't Affect Results

The Adams County Government Center.
The Adams County Government Center.
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The Adams County Republican Committee will not certify this year’s election results, but the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office says that won't make a difference to the state's election outcome, which is slated to be certified on November 30.

The Adams County Republicans’ November 24 announcement mentions Dominion Voting Systems, a Denver-based voting company that serves more than 1,300 U.S. jurisdictions, including Adams County. For weeks, the company has been the subject of voter-fraud rumors perpetuated by President Donald Trump, his lawyers and others.

“At this time, the Adams County Republican Committee will not certify the election results due to numerous irregularities that have caused serious concerns with the overall operations during the 2020 Election Season,” the announcement says. “Dominion has its tentacles deep within the Democratic Party. It is highly speculative given the activities in other states, that Dominion and Smartmatic did not contribute to the consistent low tabulations of Republican votes...this is not a challenge to the Adams County Clerk and Recorder or the Election Office. We are concerned with the equipment and software that count the votes.”

In response, the Secretary of State's Office points out that a board of canvassers unanimously certified the county’s election results.

While Dominion Voting Systems has become a hot topic around the country, the Colorado Secretary of State's Office has had little to say about the company, whether in response to national accusations or the removal of a Dominion document from its own website.

On November 20, Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s office temporarily removed a Dominion document from sos.state.co.us; it was uploaded again on November 21, with the names and contact information of Dominion personnel redacted. An office spokesperson referred all questions regarding this action to a statement that Griswold gave the Associated Press: “My team decided to pull it down to redact personal biographic information of Dominion employees because we are under the understanding that they are getting pretty aggressive threats."

Those concerns are referred to in an updated “Setting the Record Straight” statement on Dominion’s website: “Dominion employees are being forced to retreat from their lives due to personal safety concerns, not only for our employees themselves, but also for their extended families.”

The now-redacted document is Dominion’s 2015 submission to become Colorado’s Uniform Voting System Provider; under former Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, the company won the contract. The document includes information related to Smartmatic, a competing voting systems company, and the controversial Venezuelan election of 2004. Dominion’s senior product manager “began his career in elections when he joined Smartmatic in 2004 where he managed the EMS Quality Assurance process for elections in Venezuela,” it notes. It lists at least one other senior employee who worked for a company called Sequoia in 2005, when Sequoia was owned by Smartmatic.

None of the Venezuela/Smartmatic-related information was redacted.

Dominion’s lengthy "Setting the Record Straight" statement denies “any ties to Venezuela” and says “the only associations” between Dominion and Smartmatic were a contract in 2009 and a lawsuit in 2010.

Involvement in the Venezuela election is only one of the many convoluted conspiracy rumors about Dominion, which have been repeatedly debunked over the past three weeks.

But there's enough smoke to justify ire, according to JoAnn Windholz, former state legislator and chair of the Adams County Republican Committee. “Just the fact that Dominion is in this county and the questions that have been raised and the issues across the country — we just could not say everything is just fine, because it’s not,” she says. “We’ve probably just scratched the surface of some of this.”

The Secretary of State's Office also has referred all questions regarding Dominion to the company. Dominion Voting Systems referred all questions to its "Setting the Record Straight" statement, which has been updated three times, most recently on November 24.

Adams County Clerk and Recorder Josh Zygielbaum provided his own statement in response to Windholz's charges:

“The Dominion Voting System was certified by former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams, and has been used by Adams County without issue or objection from the Adams County Republican party since its implementation in 2016," it says, in part. “Other than appointing an official member to the Canvass Board, which oversees election certification in the county, the party takes no part in the certification of the election. The county Republican Party’s appointed representative has signed off on the results of the election, indicating the party’s belief that the results of the election were and are accurate and correct. According to state law, this meets the requirement for election certification, and these results have been reported to the Secretary of State’s Office.”

Windholz says that her group is not calling for a recount. In fact, the Adams County Republican Party rep agreed to certify the results along with the rest of the county’s canvassing board because there were no “big red flags,” she says. But the canvassing board only reviews a fraction of votes, and there are plenty of smaller red flags — including election rule changes and adding a voting site in a predominantly Democratic area — that warrant some kind of action from the GOP, she adds.

“There’s enough discrepancies and concerns that we wanted to register that we do not support the results of this election,” Windholz concludes. “We want to make sure that people know where we stand on this, and we definitely felt like we had to make some kind of a statement regarding this election.”

Who doesn't? The Jefferson County GOP is also now asking for an audit.

But all Colorado counties routinely conduct audits of their elections; the ability to ensure that such risk-limiting audits are conducted was one of the reasons Dominion Voting Systems was selected for the state contract, according to Williams. The counties began conducting those audits for the Colorado Secretary of State's Office in 2017.

The RLA of the 2020 election began on November 16; the counties and the state finished the audit on November 20.

“You’ve got to have a way of ensuring that you actually have accurate counts," Williams says. "In Colorado, we can prove that.”

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