The Colorado secretary of state is investigating allegations that some Boulder County Republican election judges are actually Democrats in disguise.
Boulder County GOP Chairwoman Ellyn Hilliard initially raised the alarm when visiting polling locations where she didn’t recognize some of the GOP judges who are tasked with comparing voter signatures on mail ballots to protect against vote fraud.
She became alarmed when she noticed some ballots whose signatures clearly didn’t match those on file for the voter being accepted.
Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert began investigating and confirmed to the Daily Camera that she found “some troubling inconsistencies with some election judges.”
“One of them was a Democrat who had changed party affiliation on Oct. 10, so we are concerned that Boulder didn’t follow the list, then resorted to advertising for these positions,” she told the paper.
Hilliard had submitted a list of 95 potential Republican election judges to the Boulder County election coordinator after the GOP caucus earlier in the year. The coordinator is supposed to appoint a roughly equal number of judges from the major parties to ensure a fair election.
But according to the Camera, if not enough judges agree to participate from a certain party, the law allows the county clerk some leeway in filling the vacancies with judges from other parties.
Molly Tayer, Boulder County elections coordinator said that’s what happened in this case.
“[Hilliard’s] original list was 95, and only five have joined this year’s workforce,” Tayer told the Camera. “We performed repeated outreach to the Republicans’ list: emails, notes, calls. We exhausted the list and as much as we reached out to them, people did not come. After that, we just moved on to getting people to do this work.”
Prior to a rally for Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner Tuesday, Hilliard made what the Camera called an “emotional” plea for more Republicans to volunteer to oversee the election, telling attendees that elections officials are currently helping “the Democrats steal the election.”
She cited instances in which she said she saw judges accept ballots with signatures that clearly did not match those on file for the voter. At one point, the Camera reported, Hilliard had tears in her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I get emotional because this is how they win.”
Boulder County has about 245 election judges, including 100 registered Democrats and 78 registered Republicans. The rest, according to the Camera, are either unaffiliated or registered with a third party.
“We’re on the same side,” Tayer told the Camera, in response to Hilliard’s complaint. “We both want bipartisan election judges working on our processes together. We told her that if she could find people from her caucus list that wanted to do the work, she could bring those people on, and we thanked her very much for doing that.”