Wayne Williams Turns Idiot On Mail Ballots

Ex-Secretary of State Wayne Williams (R).

CBS4 Denver:

A new week of politics in Colorado is beginning with more defense of Colorado’s mail-in voting system, as President Donald Trump says he doesn’t want to slow down the mail. Colorado’s top Democrats held a news conference first thing Monday morning to denounce efforts that they feel could hamper or prevent mail-in voting during the November election…

“Now we’re in the middle of a major public health crisis and the President is using it not as an opportunity to unite the country, but as an opportunity to keep attacking our democracy. For months, central to that attack have been false claims about mail-in voting, something we’ve had in Colorado for years,” Sen. Michael Bennet said in the news conference.

With President Donald Trump’s increasingly shrill fact-free denunciations of mail ballots and apparent ongoing sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service underway to fulfill Trump’s prophecies, Colorado Republicans have been put in a most uncomfortable position–they all know these warnings of imminent disaster from mail ballots has no basis in reality, but they are politically unable to admit this for fear of doing further damage to their presidential nominee in an election Republicans are already losing.

For some time now, we’ve been able to count on former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams to defend Colorado’s mail ballot system, and debunk misinformation from Trump and other fellow Republicans. Williams, who ran for Secretary of State in 2014 on an in-retrospect ludicrous campaign warning that “union bosses” would manipulate voters if mail ballots were allowed to continue, became a sincere defender of mail ballots once he became Secretary of State and saw that they increased voter participation without compromising security.

But today, we’re sorry to report that Wayne Williams has given up on being a voice of reason with respect to the mail ballot elections he once championed, and is parroting Trump talking points like a good Republican soldier:

Former Secretary of State Williams, a Republican, told CBS4 on Monday the bill passed by the House of Representatives would strip the process of signature verification, [Pols emphasis] which is critically important.

“Mail ballot voting works if it’s done right like Colorado does. We have a number of precautions in place, including accurate voting lists and signature verification. However, mail ballot voting does not work if it’s not done right,” Williams said.

Williams’ argument that the U.S. House’s bill to assist states that want to use mail ballots ‘strips signature verification’ comes right from, you guess it, Donald Trump! And, you guessed it and the Washington Post fact-checked days ago, it’s completely false:

What Democrats have introduced is a bill that says U.S. election officials must notify any voter whose signature was deemed deficient and give them an opportunity to fix it. That’s not a ban on signature verification, not by any stretch…

Republicans have argued that coronavirus relief legislation from House Democrats “guts” signature verification requirements, because it would allow 10 days for voters to clear up ballot signature deficiencies. That’s not a ban.

…Trump complained that Democrats are pushing “a bill banning signature verification” for mail-in ballots. No such bill exists. He earns Four Pinocchios. [Pols emphasis]

And with that, Wayne Williams earns Four Pinnochios of his own. It’s not like we would have expected, say, Cory Gardner to show up to today’s press conference and defend mail ballots against his sitting President. But despite Williams’ silly attacks on mail ballots before he learned to love them and expense-account foibles in office, we were prepared to be grateful to Williams for having courage to stand up to Trump’s end-stage madness.

So much for that. Wayne Williams will go down in history as just another Trumpian stooge.

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  1. 2Jung2Die says:

    Why was Williams ever held up as any sort of champion anyway, when his public record of committee testimony on HB 13-1303, which implemented Colorado's current system, begins "Mr. Wayne Williams, El Paso County Clerk, testified in opposition to the bill"?

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    Williams' statements are still scattered on the Secretary of State's web site.  He has lots to say about how good the Colorado system is:  For example, he issued a press release after Colorado was named a finalist for an innovation award:

    In its submission for the IDEAS award, Colorado outlined its cybersecurity practices. NASS announced Monday that Colorado and three other states were finalists.

    "I'm honored that our peers recognize Colorado's leadership on cybersecurity," Williams said.

    "Our staff leads the nation in election security innovation. We have found secure ways to make it easy to vote — even for deployed military in the most remote places — while also making it difficult to cheat. It's not a simple fix. Rather, we've delivered a comprehensive suite of solutions that have garnered national attention and praise."

     

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