Gardner Shovels Red Meat To GOP Base On Mail Ballots

Donald Trump, Cory Gardner.

As readers know, Sen. Cory Gardner is generally reported by the press as being “in support” of Colorado’s mail ballot system. It would be weird if he wasn’t, since he was elected to the U.S. Senate in a mail ballot election in 2014, and Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams has become a leading advocate for mail ballots after presiding over the system through two general election cycles.

But like we discovered when we were sent a clip from Gardner on a local right-wing podcast disparaging the very same expanded unemployment benefits he claims in defiance of his party he supports, Cory Gardner says something very different about mail ballots in the private company of fellow Republicans. Westword’s Michael Roberts yesterday:

During recent interviews, Gardner has said positive things about the way Colorado has conducted mail-in voting, and he did so again, more or less, during a forum not meant for public consumption: an August 5 telephone fundraiser. But in a transcript from the event obtained by Westword, he also sought to cast doubts on a nationwide application of the process amid the COVID-19 pandemic in ways that should keep The Donald happy, since his references to heavy-handedness coming out of “Washington, D.C.” are explicitly aimed at Congress…

“Look, protecting the integrity of our elections is job number one when it comes to carrying out free, transparent, secure elections, which we have to have. We know what’s happened in California, where they have voter harvesting laws that allow people weeks and weeks and weeks after the election to change the result of the election. We saw what happened in Florida while the Supreme Court of Florida actually found that state officials had acted unconstitutionally in the way that they were carrying out that election. I’m proud of the work that we’ve done in Colorado. I’m proud of the way that we have carried out our election, but we have to make sure that Washington, D.C., it doesn’t impose some kind of California or Florida style voting regime that impedes the protections of our elections across the country.”

Gardner added: “When Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were arguing about what we should do to make sure we have a strong constitution, the last thing on their minds was if they could tell Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming how they were supposed to vote and the way they were going to carry out their elections. That’s not what this country was founded on. Washington, D.C., needs to stay away from running our elections…”

Folks, this answer is sufficiently ridiculous that it really needs more public scrutiny than we or even Westword can afford it. Gardner’s absurd claim that “vote harvesting” allows people to “change the result weeks and weeks after the election” is a nonsensical retcon of the simple fact that in the 2018 elections in California, a lot of returned ballots took a long time for some areas of the state to count. In Colorado, any voter can drop off up to ten ballots. In California there’s no limit–but since the ballots are all individually signed and sealed by the voters, it doesn’t matter who drops them off.

We’re not sure what specifically Gardner is referring to in Florida, be it the battle over felony disenfranchisement (we hope not) or litigation over absentee ballots expected to be widely requested there for the November elections. But it doesn’t change the bottom line: no one is seeking to “impose” mail ballots on any state that doesn’t want them, and mail ballots are nothing to be afraid of. This entire business about instilling fear in voters about mail ballots has no factual basis whatsoever, and Cory Gardner knows that based on his own state’s experience. But Gardner can’t tell the GOP base the truth about mail ballots while Donald Trump is busy declaring mail ballots to be the greatest extant threat to American democracy.

As a result, the stuff coming out of Gardner’s mouth to pacify his base is getting more and more ridiculous.


16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Damn.  The con has discovered Soros has a great big ol' postmark machine in a basement in Los Angeles that he can gin up after the election to shore things up?

    The Senate will be a better plaee when he's no longer an occupant. George (RIP) was right (that's an inside story for Yumans and a great conversation for the next meet-up).


  2. NOV GOP meltdown says:

    Mail ballots

    Pre-existing conditions

    Enhanced unemployment payments

    Three separate issues Cory is talking out of both sides of his mouth on in a manner of just a few days. Can't wait to see this guy gone.

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      In other news Susan Collins is very concerned about what she’s hearing about USPS.  Very concerned.

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        Not to worry, Michael.

        T***p has already learned his lesson.😕

        • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

          She’s not clutching-her-pearls-concerned yet, but hope springs eternal…

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            It seems to me this gambit is so risky it points out his desperation. I believe I recall the USPS is one of, if not the, most trusted and popular of all American institutions.

            For the OD to aim his destructive gaze at the Post Office, looks pretty stupid.

            • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

              USPS "approval" rating in one recent poll — 91%

              Trump "approval" rating in a similar poll — 39%


              Last major effort to mess with the USPS was in 2013, when there was a proposal to drop Saturday delivery for many items, saying it would save about $2 billion a year. 

              Proposal roll-out was in late January, complete with the financial story, how the savings would make the USPS less of a drain / financial loser, a poll showing there was a public acceptance of the idea.   By mid-March, BOTH House and Senate had passed legislation (as they have done for a LONG time) mandating 6 day delivery. 

              Funny how people reliant on the mail are able to write to their Senators and House members.  And that the combination of a union, businesses, and a passel of users of the system are able to respond.  Daily Kos had a couple of articles today, and several comments when through the "front page" headlines.  Widely spread, in both liberal and conservative states, virtually unanimous in highlighting Trump & DeJoy as causing problems now AND threatening the process used for the election.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        But didn’t Collins also say that the new postmaster general had reassured her that he respected legal precedent?

  3. davebarnesdavebarnes says:


    Senator @CoryGardner

    is doing a terrific job – we just passed his landmark legislation, the Great American Outdoors Act. Strong on our Military, Vets and the Second Amendment, Cory has always had my Complete and Total Endorsement!

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