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June 18, 2021 02:00 PM UTC

SoS Griswold Shuts Down AZ-Style Ballot Goose Chase

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Ron Hanks (R) in Phoenix observing the Arizona election “audit” last week.

A press release yesterday afternoon from Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold announces new emergency rules to prevent unqualified, unsupervised partisan hacks from gaining custody of Colorado’s voting equipment and ballots records to engage in the shenanigans presently underway in the state of Arizona:

“Colorado’s elections are considered the safest in the nation, and we must remain steadfast in our dedication to security,” said Secretary of State Jena Griswold. “Along those lines, no third-party person or vendor will be permitted access to voting equipment in our state. We will not risk the state’s election security nor perpetuate The Big Lie. Sham audits have no place in Colorado.”

The new and amended rules, which have been implemented immediately, reinforce who can access state-certified voting systems. In order to access any component of a county’s voting system, a person must have passed a comprehensive criminal background check and be either an employee of the county clerk, an employee of the voting system provider, an employee of the Secretary of State’s Office, or an appointed election judge.

The rules further enable the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to limit or prohibit the use of, as well as decertify, any voting systems component in the event of a break in its chain-of-custody or other hardware security compromises, such that its security and integrity can no longer be verified.

A third-party vendor with no election experience is currently performing a faulty, unsecure election audit in Arizona and calls for such sham audits have been spreading in other states. Several Colorado counties have been contacted by third parties offering to conduct audits. Colorado already administers post-election Risk Limiting Audits after every statewide election, which gives a statistical level of confidence that the outcome of an election is correct.

Last week after the Colorado General Assembly adjourned for the year, highly imaginative election denier GOP Rep. Ron Hanks reportedly drove straight to Phoenix to observe the so-called “audit” taking place there, after the GOP-controlled Arizona Senate seized the ballots and counting hardware from the 2020 election and handed them to a shady outfit calling itself Cyber Ninjas for what they’re calling an audit but in fact has none of the procedures and safeguards against abuse that the official recounts that already took place did. It was reported that a number of ballots from the Arizona audit have been transported to rural Montana for unknown purposes, and at this point the chain of custody over these ballots has been broken, run over, and peed on to the point they can never be trusted. None of which really matters since the 2020 election is over, and ballots have been officially counted, recounted, and certified all they need to be.

In truth, by keeping Colorado’s election systems and ballots out of the hands of partisan prevaricators with shady methods and confirmation bias, Griswold is the one upholding election integrity. It’s not even close. And if you don’t want to believe a Democratic Secretary of State, in Colorado it was Republican county clerks who took point last November and December in refuting the misinformation about Colorado’s elections systems–which just happened to also refute the Big Lie that the election was rigged in the swing states that decided the presidential race, since Colorado uses Dominion Voting Systems hardware and mail ballots sent “unsolicited” to all active voters.

Griswold, like the GOP clerks in Colorado and Secretaries of State across the country in both parties, is fighting a running battle against a determined campaign of misinformation that, as long as Donald Trump and the enablers of his political afterlife refuse to put a stop to it, will probably never be fully extinguished. It’s therefore even more important for the majority of Americans who believe the 2020 election was not stolen to remain as energetic in their defense of our democratic process as Trump dead-enders are in their assault on it.

Don’t even crack the door for these people.


41 thoughts on “SoS Griswold Shuts Down AZ-Style Ballot Goose Chase

  1. Too bad Griswold did this, because I have a business called Teenage Mutant Data Turtles, and the people who want to hire us don't think Ron Hanks won his election.

  2. One unclear element of the Arizona fraudit … I've seen several different versions of what went to Montana, but as far as I can tell, they all say "voter information" was sent.  I've not seen anyone specifically say "ballots" were sent — but if they were, the federal attorneys working on election law would like to know. It is hard enough to believe the AZ Senate and its contractors were able to maintain adequate chain of custody controls in the rented building, but sending some to Montana in a truck would be prima facie evidence of a loss of forensic-level security.

    1. According to this local NBC station reporting, it was data copied onto computer hard drives.

      We called Bennett, the Senate liaison, who confirmed the Montana lab mentioned on the SOS site is run by Cotton, but he didn’t know where in Montana it was located.

      Bennett said the lab has data downloaded from the hard drives Maricopa County used in the election, which he says they physically picked up and drove to Montana. He said it may or may not include voter registration data, and some of it could be sensitive. He says Cyber Ninjas picked CyFIR to review the data.

  3. I find it hard to believe anyone would think Colorado went red in this election. We have had mail in ballots for a long time, and I think a vast majority of conservative voters in CO have come to accept their minority position in the state, like it or not. 

    That being said, the colloquial "he who smelt it dealt it" suggests that a person calling attention to or complaining about a given problem may in fact be the source of the problem, is brought to the forefront when Griswold stands up and vows to protect the election integrity of CO by denying verification by a group who, for all intents and purposes, would not even consider CO a target state based on historical voting trends. 

    The issue is exacerbated further by focusing on the staunch protection of the chain of custody, suggesting that any deviation from the legally required chain of custody "such that its security and integrity can no longer be verified", would render the election results unreliable. I think we can all agree on this, however there are big issues on the legally required chain of custody in swing states such as GA, PA, MI and WI, so one can only conclude that if Griswold is protecting the election integrity of CO by retaining a verifiable chain of custody, that states that do not have this documented chain of custody in place lack the election integrity she has vowed to protect. So keep CO and lose 4 others, which would have changed the winner of the election. 

    I had more confidence in the election outcome in CO before this and would have never even considered auditing the state. Now I am not so sure.  



    1. Colorado has had election audits with verified chains of custody under every Secretary of State, the majority of whom were Republicans, since 2009. 

      All other states, including the 4 swing states you question, have similar rules.

      The need for emergency rules securing chain-of-custody became apparent when your party decided to perpetuate Trump’s Big Lie, and start giving away ballots to kooks with an agenda, as they are doing right now in Arizona.

      Your pretzel logic that “states without emergency chain of custody rules lack election integrity, and so should be audited,” only shows that you, too, are perpetuating Trump’s Big Lie. 

      I had thought better of you.

      1. I think what you mistake as my "pretzel logic" is in fact the logic that Griswold exudes by suggesting she will not allow a lapse in chain of custody to interfere with free and fair elections in her inconsequential state while ignoring the unverified or complete lack of chain of custody in states that mattered. 

        I note your incorrect use of quotations and I disagree with the fabricated statement “states without emergency chain of custody rules lack election integrity, and so should be audited”. However, I think Ms Griswold and I, and hopefully you, would all agree that states that violate emergency chain of custody rules lack election integrity,  audit or not.

        Griswold thinks adherence to chain of custody rules are an important factor in election integrity.

        4 swing states cannot verify and violate chain of custody rules.

        Logic concludes Griswold thinks the swing states lack election integrity.

        I would be willing to bet that if she proactively opened the door for audit nobody would have come…. now not so much….  

        I think it's human nature to question that which you are asked not to question. Ever come home to a kid that said don't look in the cookie jar? What do you do?


        1. Where do you find evidence of ANY swing state not having a solid chain of custody from voting device/ballot deposit to counting to tabulation of the counts to announcement of results to certification of the election????

          Post election, BOTH major parties (and others) had participants and observers every step of the way. 

          [Maricopa] county's election audits, said Fields Moseley, county communications director. Those audits included a ballot hand count conducted by representatives from political parties, a logic and accuracy test of voting machines and an in-depth examination of the county's voting machines by two outside firms. 

          The minor challenges which went to court got thrown out – forcefully. The election was certified. 

          Griswold is reacting to what happened AFTER all of that.  The Arizona Senate, starting MONTHS after the election, subpoenaed ballots and election equipment and eventually got them.  Only to turn them over to their inexperienced contractors with no processes to insure those elected or the political parties had access to what was being done.  A detailed look at what IS known about the process is not encouraging:  see

          You are, for me, a welcome contributor to the discussions on the site.  Please rely on something more than "the colloquial "he who smelt it dealt it" suggests that a person calling attention to or complaining about a given problem may in fact be the source of the problem."


    2. Casting the seeds of doubt. You’re a learned student of the once-grand old party. Have you met our friend Fluffy? (it’s been an entire day and he hasn’t weighed in to lecture us on “fearing strong women, something, something.”) 

    3. Until this past election, no-one gave serious consideration to the possibility that our election ballots and equipment could be taken away from their secured locations and given to a group of f-ups who don't have the talent necessary to lock their own front door. And on top of that, they're hyper-parstisan hacks who have been given unmonitored access and time to completely compromise the ballots.

      Neccessity is the mother of rule-making here.

    1. You see the pretzel logic?  It’s not a matter of if, but when, Loren Hanks rolls up in the clown car to demand an AZ-type circus right here in Colorado.  Jenna responds with ‘No way in hell’… you and the clan respond,she’s hiding something!!” 

      Good for the SoS to be getting ahead of these Bozos of the Big Top

      1. Getting ahead of the story is the age old Kissinger doctrine to attempt to control the narrative in the midst of damaging information. Damage control. If this was an attempt to avert accusations of hiding something it has achieved quite the opposite and only whetted the appetite for those who question the election integrity.

        Suggesting the auditors are inexperienced while allowing access to appointed election judges is comical at best…. I took most of the mandatory Election Judge class in less than a half hour and if that makes me qualified to view election data I can assure you those slated to audit are more qualified that me or any other election judge. I urge you to take the training and ask yourself if this is the level of competence you are protecting….

        1. I don’t believe you’re changing any minds or hearts here today. 

          Standing with Jung on this one: keep that stinky *ucking mutt Loren off my lawn.

        2. Muhammed Ali Hasan (affectionately known as Miguel) keeps pushing this audit nonsense by claiming the guy running the show is some kind of genius, wizardly, brainiac who has magic tools to expose the plans of the libs.

          He is a hack from Texas named Jovan Philyaw, who changed his name to “Pulitzer” and claims to hold multiple patents on some extraordinary devices. Sometimes referred to as an entrepreneur…other times, a treasure hunter. It is just more grift.

      2. Might make someone (who cares?) wonder what Negev's working so hard to hide? . . .

        . . . I mean, it doesn't appear that any mass shooting was involved here . . .

    2. My problem is with the fart reference. The old "he/she who smelt it dealt it" rhymes and I even used it time to time shortly after the onset of puberty. But it certainly wouldn't hold up anywhere serious as proof. When something is egregiously smelly, like gas from a dog who got into the trash, a whole bunch of people smell it! Think of the AZ Senate as the dog, hiring an unaccredited company with no experience in elections as the gas that people interested in election integrity nationwide can definitely smell, and Jena as the adult who's making sure this dog stays outside.

      1. Speaking of farts (lumpy in this case), the #CancunTurd weighs in.  Funny he should reference investing in a business analogy.  If the GOP were a publicly-held corp they'd be delisted and liquidated. 

        1. I’ve read that Maricopa County already conducted three audits before the Big Lie fanatics like the AZ State Senate and Cancun Cruz showed up. 

          If one doesn’t like the results of the first three audits, then keep doing them all the while continuing to repeat the Big Lie that the election was stolen from Trump.

          While so much of the records are now in Montana and unguarded, what a perfect chance to mix in materials that support the Big Lie. Time for AZ residents to sue the crap out of Cyber Ninjas and all their associates.

        2. well…we can say the same thing about the republicans in congress, including Lauren Qbert, who refuse to have any type of investigation…in this case, they really are hiding their complicity in the insurrection…all the ballot counting is distraction from the real problem we have…there is a concerted effort by these republicans to gaslight the nation…

          this is Sedition…they are spreading sedition, and we are onto them…them, being the republican cult of trump…

          1. Plainly stated and completely accurate. 

            The remaining Republican holdouts against the Orange Horde had better get a new plan. They are losing their party to anarchy. 


          2. @sunmusing: kindly pay attention. My comment is within the thread which is about election audits. I said nothing about the insurrection or republicans in Congress.

            But since you are bringing it up, “gaslighting” the nation, and spreading sedition, and “we are onto them,” just who is “we?”

            And if “we” represents some amount of numbers, where is the progressive alternative to Fox News, to OANN, to Breitbart, to Newsmax,  to InfoWars, and so on, to spread the word?

            Duke as usual points the finger towards “remaining Republican holdouts,” and he is right to a degree. But complaining anonymously on a website about the “mean and nasty seditionists” doesn’t change anything.

  4. Speaking of election fraud, how is it there are so many certifiably insane or practiced fraudsters that try to keep the “Big Lie” going or give it the slightest bit of credibility.

    ‘Italygate’ election conspiracy theory was pushed by two firms led by woman who also falsely claimed $30 million mansion was hers

    She even had the balls to register the mansion as her business address.

    The Institute for Good Governance’s registered headquarters since late last year has been the historical North Wales Farm, a 22-bedroom mansion in Warrenton, Va., state records show. The property is listed for sale at just under $30 million.

    “She’s in my house,” the widow said. “How is she in my house?”

    The North Wales mansion was for sale at the time, and Edwards was a licensed Realtor in the area, according to the firm’s website. Hers was not the firm Ford’s widow had hired to sell the property.

  5. Something weird just happened.  I posted a comment with embedded links and quotes from a Washington Post article.  I noticed I made one typo, and went to edit it, only to be confronted with “this comment has been marked as spam and cannot be edited”.  Sure enough, when I refreshed the page, it had disappeared.  

    Overeager bot?

    And I’m also logged out every time I leave this site.  I wonder if the assault on this site has become so intense that the security scrubbing measures have gotten pretty tight. 🙁

    1. Thanks for the feedback, we’re continuing to adjust our protections against the growing onslaught of spam. We’ve liberated the comment in question.

      1. Thanks!  And for correcting the typo as well. 

        Due to multiple Spam-o-Matic generators available, the volume of cyber attack attempts on social media is unbelievably oppressive (even my filters can't stop all of it either).

  6. Refusing to allow a bunch of unhinged bozos access to tamper with Colorado's voting equipment and data isn't hiding anything.  It's protecting our electoral integrity from any harm caused by unqualified idiots.

  7. Over the many years I’ve lurked on this site I’ve detected a reliable pattern: some local conservative in CO does some sad stunt in their constanttly on-going war to ‘pwn’ the libs on twitter or elsewhere, one of the three sad conservative trolls that come here will pop in with a $hit eating grin thinking “yeah, THIS time I got ‘em, they won’t know what hit ‘em!” -this is always followed with said poster being mocked relentlessly, the glaring holes in their ‘logic’ being picked apart in the following comments, many jokes made and no sweat spent.

    And then they disappear, failing to defend their garbage posting or even replying beyond one or two short ‘Nyah nyahs’ being thrown out. They don’t come back sometimes for years, but they always do, thinking this time they’ve got ‘em, THIS time they’ll surely win!

    1. You should have “lurked” harder. I’m a conservative with libertarian tendencies. I am neither sad nor a troll. I don’t have a need to “own the libs” any more than most of them have a need to “own me.”

      And I don’t go away for months or years except I was away from this site for almost 3 months earlier this year. My presence here, and on several other hobby-type blogs, was taking time away from important projects. Thus, a 50% plus cut back on blogging for a while. I’m no longer on one of the hobby blogs, and got a lot of catch-up done on projects.

    2. It is true. After 15 years of reading the weak sputum routinely delivered here by the aforementioned trolls, it is difficult to get excited about much of anything the ass clowns start bloviating about.

      From “Andrew Carnegie” to “moderatus” (AKA the Fluffy one) and every level of assholery one could imagine, they come. Like the Crow warriors stalking Jeremiah Johnstone, who became known as “Crow Killer”, they show up here, eager to slay the hated liberal and avenge…something…whatever…It never works.

      This site is where conservative whackadoodles come to get their peepees whacked…or their doodles whacked, more appropriately, I suppose.

  8. Realist- this one’s for you. This isn’t the first time Ron/ Loren Hanks has deceived voters about where he actually lives. ( lives in Canon City, declares Penrose as his residence and campaign mailing address).

    He pulled the same stunt when he was running for CD1 in CA in 2010. Didn’t live in the district he was running to represent. 

  9. Conservative head banger, slow your roll. Unless you consider yourself a ‘troll’ I wasn’t referring to you. Someone thumping around proudly wearing the mantle of ‘conservative’ after Donald Trump really ought to have a thicker skin. 

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