DENVER (CBS4) The State Legislative Audit Committee met for more than 8 hours Tuesday and decided not to require a performance review from the Colorado Secretary of State Office. Jenna Ellis, a member of President Trump’s legal team, was among those testifying from afar.
Ellis asked legislators for more than an hour and the exchange got hot at times.
“What evidence do you have that we should talk about?” Democratic Senator Rhonda Fields asked Ellis, saying the hearing was a waste of time.
Fields is one of several Democratic lawmakers calling on Ellis to produce evidence of election fraud in Colorado. Ellis suggested it was up to the state to prove there was no fraud, noting that Colorado uses the same voting machines that have been scrutinized in other states.
“If you really have nothing to hide and this committee is certainly concerned about protecting the integrity of the Colorado vote, it is this body’s job to investigate,” said Ellis.
But former Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler and Wayne Williams defended the machines, saying they passed hundreds of tests. Both Williams and Gessler admit that Colorado’s voting system is not perfect. Gessler noted that witness signatures were not verified.
“There is a glaring security flaw in Colorado’s signature verification requirements,” he said. “Basically, we often send ballots to ineligible voters or duplicate ballots to voters due to sloppy electoral rolls, and someone can just put up a sign and pretend to be showing an illegible signature as a witness and that will be counted . “
At a time when people rarely sign their names more, a fingerprint is more reliable than a signature, according to Gessler. He and Williams also pointed to address verification vulnerabilities, but both rejected the idea of widespread fraud. Only one witness witnessed limited cases of possible double votes.
Regardless, Republican lawmakers say many voters have lost confidence in the system.
“It is our duty as elected representatives to dispel all public doubts about our electoral integrity,” said the chairman of the committee, representative Lori Saine.
Senator Paul Lundeen argued that testing is the only way to restore confidence in elections.
“It’s about the future of the elections and making sure that Coloradans at home know with peace of mind that the Colorado elections are safe and fair,” he said.
A Republican motion to scrutinize the Secretary of State’s office died in a tie.
The Republican leadership of the House issued the following statement after hearing the committee Tuesday:
“The integrity of our American elections is essential to our republic. Today’s legislative review hearing was key to making sure we are always asking questions, gathering information and reassuring voters that we have fair and accurate processes. This work is the foundation of the trust we have so that we can represent our voters and work out the laws of our state.
We thank everyone who came with their questions, with information and openness to inquire and learn. Today’s testimony goes a long way in ensuring the validity of recent elections and preparing for future elections as we look at ways we can improve our already robust control and verification systems to ensure that every legislative vote counts, not by mistake and dilution dilutes inaccuracies.
In a year when an unprecedented number of voters have expressed doubts about electoral security, we must ensure that elections in Colorado are always safe and fair. “