Jon Keyser’s “Failed System?” So Much For That


As the Colorado Independent's John Tomasic reports:

Jon Keyser, a Republican candidate running for House District 25 in Jefferson County, reported receiving two ballots in the mail last week. He tweeted photos of them and suggested the state’s election system was unreliable. “C’mon Man! #FailedSystem” he wrote. Unfortunately, Keyser shredded one of the ballots, so there’s no way to gauge whether the system failed or not…

“Liberals and the media often are quick to dismiss the possibility of voter fraud, but Colorado’s new all-mail ballot system shows that there are gaps in the system,” the Peak Politics blog author wrote. “The lack of ballot security in Colorado elections stems from a bill passed last legislative session, HB13-1303. The bill required that mail ballots be sent to all registered voters, regardless of whether they are active…Who knows what other violations are out there?”

But a funny thing happened when qualified folks asked questions about this seemingly troubling story:

Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson, one of the many Republican clerks who supported the reform bill this year, called Keyser when she saw his tweet this weekend.

“We take this kind of thing very seriously,” she said. “It was clear to me that the bottom ballot in the photo was not a Jefferson County ballot. The label is different. The color is different. The indicia are different. It’s not one of ours…

“I asked if the ballot inside the envelopes were the same. He said he couldn’t remember and that he had destroyed the ballot.” [Pols emphasis]

As GOP Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson explained to the Independent, there's a possibility that the "second ballot" that HD-25 candidate Jonathan Keyser received was for a special taxing district election, perhaps for property Keyser owns outside of Jefferson County. The mailing label on the second mail ballot Keyser received wasn't printed with the high quality printing equipment used in Jefferson County–one of a number of details that made Anderson immediately suspicious of Keyser's claims to have received "two ballots."

If you look at the photo of Keyser's "two ballots" (above right, full size after the jump), you can see he conceals the return address on the second ballot–which has the crudely-printed label, compared to the Jefferson County ballot for which the return address is visible. That concealment, combined with the Republican Jefferson County Clerk's explanation, and the fact that Keyser now claims to have "shredded" the second ballot, and "can't remember" if the two ballots were for two different things, leads to one inescapable conclusion:

Jonathan Keyser, Republican candidate for the Colorado House, knows he was making this up.


51 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    1. Why did he black out "15754 Cayenne Cir" ?
    2. Why did he shred the "bad" ballot? Wouldn't the smart action be to take both to the Jeffco County Clerk and determine what went wrong?

  2. Gray in Mountains says:

    fraud about fraud? maybe he ought to be running for SOS. he is qualified with that factor to get the R slot on the ballot

  3. DawnPatrol says:

    Oh, sa-NAP!  And another bites the dust…

    I think an official investigation may be in order here. As Gray points out, if all is as it appears, how does this not constitute fraud, akin to filing a false police report?

  4. Craig says:

    Perhaps we should do some research and see if we can prove he's lying.   It could also be that he's registered in two different counties.  Does anyone know where he lived before?  If he owns property in a special district in another county, he's entitled to vote.  Property records are public.  Just search the last name.  Also, if he's a business owner, he can sometimes vote.  I lease property in downtown Golden and am eligible to vote in an upcoming election here in the city.  There are all sorts of explanations that can be discovered.  Anyone want to help?

    • DawnPatrol says:

      All good points, but, if I'm not mistaken, the man is attempting to claim that both ballots were identical and each came from Jefferson County (certainly a bad thing if true). The potential fraud on his part lies in his convenient/fortuitous "inability" to prove that both ballots were identical and from JeffCo. All that remains is a partisan's uncorroborated "claim."

      Can you imagine a partisan Republican hack like this guy destroying such a potential political smoking gun? Not bloody likely. That thing would be CO GOP Holy Grail, Exhibit A.

    • Republican 36 says:

      This guy is a lawyer in the Denver office of Hogan Lovells, one of the largest law firms in the world, and his wife is a lawyer with the Brownstein law firm, and he shredded the second ballot and then claims voter fraud. Any lawyer with any sense knows you don't shred evidence, especially if you're going to make the assertion that the law has been violated or that the way a statute is structured allows for that to happen. Mr. Keyser is in real trouble on this one. If I was in his shoes, I'd "fess-up."

      As David points out the bar code will tell us who sent the second ballot.

      This isn't going to end well for Mr. Keyser.

  5. DavidThi808 says:

    That code in the bottom right identifies who sent that second envelope – details here.

    • Ross Cunniff says:

      Well, I think that the second barcode translates to:


      In USPS-coding-speak.  Plugging that into gets the following info (if it is a six-digit code):

      Barcode ID: 94

      Special Services: 009

      Mailer ID: 212792

      Serial Number: 884004408

      Delivery Point ZIP code: 80465963354

      And, if it is a nine-digit code, it's mostly the same, except:

      Mailer ID: 212792884

      Serial Number: 004408

      80465-5963 corresponds to Cayenne Circle in Morrison.  I don't know how to do a reverse lookup on the mailer ID (yet).  I'll decode the first barcode shortly…

      • Ross Cunniff says:

        The first barcode looks like it is:


        Which translates to (six-digit):

        Barcode ID: 94

        Special Services: 009

        Mailer ID: 208202

        Serial Number: 883502415

        Delivery Point ZIP Code: 80465963354

        And, nine-digit:

        Mailer ID: 208202883

        Serial Number: 502415

        So, even without knowing the names of the mailers that sent those pieces, we can see that the mailer ID is different.  Second piece:

        212792 (six-digit ID) or 212792884 (nine-digit ID)

        First piece:

        208202 (six-digit ID) or 208202883 (nine-digit ID)

        Can you spell "smoking gun?"

      • Early Worm says:

        We have too much time on our hands.  I did the same and came up with the same result.  Delivery point Zip is 80465-9633.  The "54" is the last digits of his address.  Now if we can just figure out whose mailer id is "212792'" or can at least confirm that it is not the Jefferson County Clerk.  

    • davebarnes says:

      I also decoded the Intelligent Mail barcodes and got the same answers.
      I now know more about this barcode than I should.
      Still cannot figure how to convert Mailer ID to business name.

  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    hmmmmm . . . let's see . . . 

    Keyser's ballots . . .

    Gardner's health insurance policies . . . 

    RMGO's charging Hudak-supporter's intimidation . . . 

    Gessler's evidence of voter fraud . . . 

    W's WMDs . . .

    . . . . . .   . . . . . .   . . . . . .   . . . . . .   . . . . . .   I wonder what it all could mean??

    • Duke Cox says:

      unfortunate coincidence…?

    • horseshit GOP front group says:

      It means we should either be deceived, or, if we figure out what these assholes are putting out there is total bullshit for the 800th time, give them the benefit of the doubt.  Who are we to question whether or not people are intentionally misled OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

      Who me ?  Honest, I wasn't trying to mislead anybody, I was just confused !

  7. Moderatus says:

    It's great that you're all so tickled, but Keyser never claimed that he received two identical ballots. At most this was a simple misunderstanding, and that's all the Colorado Independent story alleges. No need to be sensationalist, Pols.

    • DawnPatrol says:

      Yes, I'm sure a veteran attorney and partisan political candidate makes such egregious errors all the time, particularly when handling such critical "evidence."

      Nothing to see here, folks — we have Moderatus's word for it!  Just a poor misunderstood lad doing his best to uphold the law and maintain the electoral integrity of our great state!

    • BlueCat says:

      ummm… if he wasn't claiming he received two ballots for the same election then what was he complaining about and why was he saying it was evidence of a failed system?  How did he know that the one he opened was the right one and the one he shredded was something fraudulent that should be  destroyed if he never opened it? Why the artful placement in the photo, concealing part of the ballot he somehow knew was the suspicious one without looking?

      I'm going with making things up. You know. Like the people on Hannity claiming that ACA was forcing them to cut back on their employees when it turned out they were a tiny business with nowhere near 50 employees in the first place so no effect on the business at all or the other people on the show who claimed the same kind of policy they already had was going to cost them twice as much on the ACA exchange and a fact chcker found it would actually cost them slightly less, beside the point that these particular people could just keep what they had if they liked it better, and that they didn't know this because they had not, in fact and as they themselves admitted, been on the site?  

      Your side of the aisle isn't exactly known for honoring facts or shying away from dirty tricks or misleading manipulation these days. 

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      Mod, this time you're wrong. Keyser was attempting to mislead voters into thinking an election was at risk due to a bill that Dems pushed in order to benefit fro that doubt

    • mamajama55 says:

      Keyser never claimed that he received two identical ballots? That's odd, because he sure posted it on his website, and  told Colorado Peaks Politics that he had:  This image is from Keyser's FB page. The same one, with the text: " Okay–so I received multiple mail in ballots. Did this happen to anyone else? #C'MonMan!"  was on his campaign website:

      I was researching this before Pols posted this, as I had planned to post it, too. Ellen Dumm, she who famously called Jennifer Kerns a "hot mess",  and so shall forever live in my heart, was on this story like white on rice weeks ago.

      Jon Keyser is an opportunistic, misleading Tea Party flake. In an interview recorded by our own Jason Salzman on KLZ's grassroots radio , Keyser fairly incoherently maintains  that education tax increases may be unconstitutional,  and that he strives to keep Colorado business-friendly. He is running for moderate Republican Cheri Gerou's seat in District 25.

      As a moderate Republican yourself, Moderatus, Gerou will be much less embarrassing to your cause than Keyser, who has shown himself willing to mislead the public over this ballot nonsense.


  8. Miss Jane says:

    You guys are just awesome.  And I'm guessing Pam Anderson or someone in her office checks in here to see what's going on in the interesting world of Colorado politics.

  9. Duke Cox says:

    Where is Elliot? I'm sure the good counselor can explain this away in a heartbeat…no bad intent here… no attempt at hoodwinking anyone.

    Tell us how that works, meine kliene Fladenmaus…please..

    • ElliotFladen says:

      Haven't followed this story, and don't particularly care to start now. 

      • Duke Cox says:

        Why am I not surprised ? not much wiggle room here…even for a pro like you.

      • JeffcoBlue says:

        Not surprised. Keyser is one of your fellow lawyer iGOP liberservative young hypocrites. You won't be speaking ill of him, ever.

      • BlueCat says:

        Right move for you, Elliot. See no evil, hear no evil so you won't have to figure out a plausible way to speak no evil when you're pretty sure you're not going to see or hear anything good.

      • Curmudgeon says:

        All together, now….


        Brave Sir Fladen ran away.

        Bravely ran away away.

        When facts, they reared their ugly heads,

        He bravely turned his tail and fled.

        Yes, brave Sir Fladen turned about

        And gallantly he chickened out.

        Bravely taking  to his feet,

        He beat a very brave retreat.

        Bravest of the braaaave, Sir Fladen!


        • MADCO says:

          Well, he was turned into a newt!


          He got better.

          • mamajama55 says:

            Hey come on now. Elliot's no longer defending the indefensible. That's progress!

            Personally, I hate it when people put words in my mouth, or tell me what I am going to do or say when X happens.

            It is a dandy poem, though, Curmy.


            • mamajama55 says:

              I take it back. He is still defending the indefensible. Oh well.

              • Curmudgeon says:

                Well, you've always been more generous than I have, mama. I had the same grudging respect for Elliott as a Decent Republican (of which there are definite, if dwindling numbers) when he claimed to have more moderate positions than the GOP establishment.

                I saw him for what he really is during the whole Marble/Fields/Saine Chicken Incident, when he defended the indefensible there (including some nasty comments from his Right Wing radio buddies), but also attacked Rep Fields as being the one who was really in the wrong.  

                So, nothing he does surprises, disappoints, or angers me anymore. 


                P.S. The song, I stole shamelessly from Monty Python and The Holy Grail. But it was just too appropriate not to. 

  10. notaskinnycook says:

    Mr.Keyser once again proves my adage that no one need be truly frightened of the Tea-publicans. They will always go just that much too far and come out with egg on their faces.

  11. ElliotFladen says:

    Well, you guys piqued my curiousity.  Looks like nobody was dishonest here – guy did get two ballots, but they weren't same ballot.  One was regular ballot, other was ballot for a special district tax hike question.


    Anderson explained that in cases like this, it’s common for voters to be alarmed but, she said, there is often a very good explanation and it’s usually tied to the fact that voters can be eligible to vote in two elections — a state election but also a special-district tax election.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      So you're saying he wasn't dishonest, just stupid?

      • exlurker19 says:

        Come on, Dave.  Even lawyers don't respect other lawyers.

      • ElliotFladen says:

        Coming to an erroneous conclusion does not necessarily make somebody an idiot

        • Early Worm says:

          Here is my problem with your claim that this was simply an "erroneous conclusion."  He tweeted this as #failedsystem.  He was clearly trying to imply or outright state that he received two ballots for the same election. That conclusion would be easily refuted if you noted that the ballots were from seperated sources, i.e. the County on the on hand and a special district on the other. In his photo, he conspicuously hid the source of the second ballot. This literal cover-up is not consistent with an "erroneous conclusion."  It appears to be an obvious intent to deceive.

          • mamajama55 says:

            It's clearly another attack on mail ballots and HB1330, Colorado's model voting law. Colorado had #1 voter turnout in the country in 2012. Other states, such as New Mexico, are also looking to go to all mail ballots. Colorado Peak politics was featuring the Keyser  deception on its site for weeks, as well as stories of loose ballots in apartment complexes.

            No one is advocating what should be done,, i.e. mark the ballots as "no longer at this address", and send the ballots back to the County Clerk as undeliverable, which would then inactivate the voters.  I guess CPP would rather have voter fraud as a hobbyhorse to ride to attack mail ballots.

          • Davie says:

            And as usual, Elliot, by blithely ignoring the main issue, is being transparently obtuse.

          • ElliotFladen says:

            It appears he jumped to a mistaken, but easy to make, conclusion.  Given that he is running for an elected office, the idea he would intentionally screw something like this up seems ludicrous. 

    • BlueCat says:

      That's the whole point. Without checking it out (according to him) he immediately presented it as proof of a "failed system". 

      From the facts that he didn't open it, presented it in the photo partially concealed and finally destroyed it, it's not an unreasonable assumption that his motivation was quite likely to present this as evidence of failed system while strongly suspecting it probably wasn't. That would account for the failure to actually look at it before destroying it. Plausible deniability. 

      The fact that these were ballots for seperate elections, not evidence of a failed system, has been the point being made in this thread all along. But picking up on points has never been your strong suit, has it

      • ElliotFladen says:

        Per Anderson many have made the same mistake he made in jumping to the conclusion he jumped to.  I know you may not want to believe it, but people in the GOP/conservative circles sometimes get things unintentionally wrong too.  We are, despite claims of reptillian nature found in the prog-sphere, human in fact.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          How many other non-reptillians after jumping to the wrong conclusion, manipulated the evidence, tweeted #failedsystem, and failed to make any kind of retraction??

          (As a side bet, I'd like to wager that there were actually fewer reptiles that made this, er "mistake," than there were Republicans — wanna' bet?)

        • mamajama55 says:

          Then why promote it as evidence of a failed system? Why shred the offending county ballot instead of returning it, if he was worried about fraud?  Why not respond to the County Clerk's inquiry the first time she saw his tweet and asked him to clarify?  Why place the ballots in the photo so that the logo and bar code are deliberately obscured?

          Or did he open it, find out that it was a legit ballot for a minor election since he's a property owner, and decide that it was better to continue on with the "OMG there's voter fraud from duplicate ballots!" meme? That's what I think happened. He had already tweeted it, posted it on his website, and sent it to Colorado Peak Politics by that time. He'd look like a putz if he admitted, "Well, it was really just a legit ballot for a minor election that runs conjointly with the main one."

          Sorry, Elliott. Keyser deliberately promoted this. If it was in fact a mistake, he's an idiot unworthy to be elected to office, and I certainly wouldn't hire him as a lawyer.  If he's a lying, opportunistic sleazebag trying to promote his own political fortunes by attacking Colorado's model voting system, (which is what I think he is), he also doesn't get "the benefit of the doubt".

        • BlueCat says:

          So why the photo to show the ballot  followed by the destruction to not show the ballot? Clearly either after opening or because he knew perfectly well what it was in the first place, the perfectly valid second ballot would not be something he would want to show anyone because it would have ruined his "failed system" accusation. He probably knew the truth would come to light but he'd still have reached plenty of people who wouldn't bother to check by then. 

          Next time I see a comment from you defending a Dem under similar circumstances (much harder to find, I know) I'll consiider your reaction something other than your kneejerk defense. And as far as we "libtards" being the same, name me one of us here or one Dem pol who defending the creepy Dem mayor of San Diego.

          No response required. Pretty sure I know what it would be.

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