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October 26, 2013 08:32 AM UTC

End of the Line For Jon Keyser's Cheap Ballot Tricks

  • by: Colorado Pols

The Colorado Independent's John Tomasic bookends this week's odd story of Colorado GOP House candidate Jon Keyser, and his breathless allegations of a "failed system" after having received "two" mail-in ballots:

The mystery “duplicate ballot” was photographed, tweeted about and then shredded. In its internet afterlife, it was held up as evidence that recent electoral reforms centered around universal mail ballots were opening the state to fraud. In fact, the mystery ballot demonstrated that the system is working as well as it ever has done, and maybe better.

It took a few days and some digging, but now it’s clear that the ballot was a Delta County special election ballot. It was mailed to Republican state House candidate Jon Keyser, an attorney at major Colorado law firm Hogan Lovells and a former Air Force intelligence officer.

Keyser lives in Morrison, in Jefferson County, but he owns a Delta County parcel of land. He is eligible to vote in two elections. Keyser received two ballots in the mail because that’s how it works. They’re different ballots. He is being asked to vote in Jefferson County as a resident and on a long-term financing deal for Delta County’s Grand Mesa Water Conservancy District.

“We sent a property owners ballot to a Jonathan M. Keyser in Morrison for the one question,” confirmed Ann Eddins, Delta County clerk. [Pols emphasis]

Tomasic shows a photo of a blank ballot envelope supplied by the Delta County clerk, clearly stating that recipients "may receive a ballot from another political subdivision conducting an election on the same day." In Keyser's case, that would be his regular Jefferson County ballot, containing all statewide and local questions being voted on this year for Keyser's legal residence in Morrison. With these facts now settled, the GOP candidate who alleged these "two" ballots amounted to a "failed system" sounds a lot less agitated:

Keyser seems a little taken aback by the flap his tweet generated. He said he still believes that receiving two ballots, even if not duplicates, is evidence not perhaps of failure but of inefficiency.

“This clearly illuminates a bureaucratic inefficiency that can and should be improved,” he wrote to the Independent. “The county clerks and recorders have a difficult job. Hopefully we can come together and find a way to help streamline this process and save Colorado taxpayers some money at the same time.”

There it is: the walk back from "failed system" to "bureaucratic inefficiency." Just a misunderstanding on Keyser's part? Not likely when the envelope for the Delta County ballot clearly explains why he got it. Not likely because, quite frankly, we don't believe this Hogan Lovells attorney and former Air Force intelligence officer is that stupid. The campaign by partisan Republicans against this year's voting modernization legislation, House Bill 1303, has been completely over the top from the beginning–despite the fact that Republicans like Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson helped write the bill. In the end, the only known case of "vote fraud" resulting from any provision of the new law was a conservative activist making a highly ill-advised "demonstration."

Folks, when Keyser Tweeted out his photo of "two mail in ballots," with the second ballot's return address carefully concealed and none of the clarifying information on the back of the "second" ballot disclosed, saying only that he received "two mail in ballots" and that this was evidence of a "failed system," there is absolutely no mistaking his intentions. Keyser plainly was alleging that he had received the ability to vote twice on the same ballot questions, and we just don't buy the idea that he was unaware of exactly what the circumstances really were. Otherwise, why would he conceal the return address on the second ballot?

To perfectly, editorially honest about it, we are sick and tired of politicians–hell, anyone, but the best examples are politicians these days–who engage in deliberate, ridiculously obvious deception, and then try to act like we're all stupid when they're caught red-handed. Or in GOP House candidate Jonathan Keyser's case, red-balloted. The unfortunate truth is, Keyser's "two ballots" allegation and photo circulated far wider than the facts you now know ever will. Even though it's complete bullshit, this story is now a part of the right's "vote fraud" apocrypha.

If you care about the truth even a little, you should find that very frustrating.


Image courtesy The Colorado Independent
Image courtesy The Colorado Independent


57 thoughts on “End of the Line For Jon Keyser’s Cheap Ballot Tricks

  1. I'm sure Flailin' Fladen will be along to tell me why this doesn't apply to lying sack of shit Jonathan Keyser of the illustrious Hogan Lovells, but FWIW:

     Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct > Rule 8.4. Misconduct.


    It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

    (a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

    (b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

    (c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

    (d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;

    (e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;

    (f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law;

    (g) engage in conduct, in the representation of a client, that exhibits or is intended to appeal to or engender bias against a person on account of that person's race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, whether that conduct is directed to other counsel, court personnel, witnesses, parties, judges, judicial officers, or any persons involved in the legal process; or

    (h) engage in any conduct that directly, intentionally, and wrongfully harms others and that adversely reflects on a lawyer's fitness to practice law.

    1. Amen.  Every lawyer who reads this blog now has a duty under the Colorado Rules of Ethics to report this lawyer for unethical conduct.  As does every lawyer at Hogan Lovells.  Frankly, Hogan Lovells should fire the guy today if they haven't already.  No law firm with any ethics or integrity should put up with this kind of misconduct.  Especially one that wants to be taken seriously in the political lobbying world.  As for Keyser, he should end his campaign today.

      1. Under Craig's theory of the rules of ethical conduct, if I mistakenly say that the Browns were the 1986 AFC Champion because I forgot about the Drive, another attorney would have to report me to the state bar.  

        The rules of ethics do not extend that far.  Back to real work now. 

        1. Knew I could rely on you, El, for the knee-jerk, IOIYAR reply.  He might be stupid, mistaken, or even out and out lying, but it's okay because he's a Republican.  You have lost all respect here.  I suggest you change your sign in to N3B, Jr. or something.

        2. I know this thread is old, but wow.. So basically in the above opinion the rules of ethical conduct aren't worth the paper they're printed on? How can you even compare Keyser's DISHONESTY, DECEIT, and MISREPRESENTATION with your football analogy? Why even have these rules? So lawyers themselves can pick and choose what to enforce and what not to enforce? What a great set up that must be; too bad the rest of us can't live and work like that. Talk about a failed system! Sorry I missed this my first read through on this earlier.

          The ridiculousness and bald face pandering of Jon Keyser really irked me when I found this story, and I hope they aren't forgotten about in the coming months. I sure wish this story would have been made more visible by news outlets when it actually happened.

          Sorry for punting up this old thread, but as I said, reading this story about Keyser's "Cheap Ballot Tricks" from a link in the OTHER story about "Cheap Ballot Tricks" really irked me.

    2. I think I can save Elliot the trouble. Let him enjoy his weekend.

      Everything the diary sites could be explained by a long string of perfectly understandable mistakes.  We are just trying to make something out of this because are partisan and mean. He used to use the explanation that we can't know what's in people's hearts to explain away everything that sure walked and talked like racims but haven't seen that one in a long time. Does that about cover it for possible Fladenisms?

      Anybody else have trouble logging in today. It took me multiple times, multiple ways to quit getting "undefined at the main sign in on top or bounced back to the sign in you get when you hit one of the replies.

  2. Also, where the hell is the big Denver newspaper.  This should be on the front page. This guy can't be all that smart to think that he could get away with this.  I guess he doesn't know that land ownership records are all publically available on the internet.  Oh, and I guess that he didn't think there are any "Republicans" left with any integrity.  Like Pam Anderson isn't going to be on this one like flies on shit.  She's a great County Clerk, and a Republican with integrity.  Not some brainless pretty boy like Keyser who takes his orders and says yes sir.  The real story here is Pam Anderson's bravery.  She'll be vilified now.  She ought to run for SOS as an independent.  She'd kick the field.  Deserves a profiles in courage award.


    OK, now move along.  Nothing here to see.  Just another Republican brainless pretty boy.  If he's the Republican nominee, well, he'll be the first to lose this district in I don't know how long, and I've lived in the district for 33 years.

    1. Damn straight. This dude is totally caught in his lie. He needs to be fucking pilloried. if the GOP doesn't pull him, he is going to have one miserable campaign next year.

      If anything I kinda feel bad about the professional misconduct angle. Stupid ass righties really think this shit is all a game. Well it's not a game, you sorry little putz. I wish more politicians would get nailed by their professions for lying.

    2. The big Denver newspaper has been covering for Republicans and glossing over their misconduct even before Vince Carroll ascended the throne in the editorial room.  I still like holding a piece of paper in my hands with a cup of joe but about the only interesting thing on the editorial pages anymore are the letters to the editor.  Littwins long gone and anti-Democrats lefty Sirota is an extinct bird.  So much for liberal bias in the newspapers.

  3. Sorry, forgot congratulations to ColoradoPols and the Colorado Independent for breaking and following up on this story.  Kudos are due all around.  Another Republican Gun rising star, gunned down in the prime of his life.

  4. You guys are missing the point. It was a failure of efficiency. We need to eliminate mail in ballots. It would be so much more efficient to require every property owner to vote in person. If you own multiple properties in multiple special districts – epic road trip. He wasn’t lying, you just missed the point.

  5. And all this happened while the REAL multiple ballot story goes unnoticed. The Republican County Clerk in Summit County says it was an error by the printer, but with many voters in Summit County receiving multiple ballots the voting confusion will be interesting. I'm guessing there will be more than a few unhappy people if some of the local issues fail.

  6. a former Air Force intelligence officer

    Is he really? Because not realizing the barcode would lead to the source of the second envelope was really stupid.

    And kudos to everyone here who worked on exposing this B.S.

    1. According to his campaign bio, he's not just any Air Force intelligence officer:

      Jon Keyser is a second-generation Colorado native and Republican candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives, District 25. Jon is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and a former member of the Air Force’s elite parachuting team, the Wings of Blue. Jon has completed tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a decorated leader and combat veteran, recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and was honored by the Air Force as Intelligence Officer of the Year

      With all due respect for his service and for risking his life for our country, he might also want to remember that in addition to the Colorado Bar Association, his alma mater the Air Force Academy is a notorious stickler for honesty: 

      1. With all due respect for his service and for risking his life for our country

        Ah, but you see rathmone, he wasn't risking his life for OUR country…he was risking his life for HIS country.

  7. Nothing makes me madder than when some politician says or does something that prompts me to think, "Is he stupid, or does he think I am?" In the one case, he may not be qualified for the office he holds or seeks. In the other, he's insulted my intelligence and his opponent can count on my vote.

      1. C'mon. With a straight face type: I believe that Jon Keyser did not mean to hide the Delta County markings on his "second" ballot when he posted that photo.

        I sure couldn't. But I can type this: The "Intelligence officer of the year" was engaging in a little psy ops against the clerks election reform law and he got caught- in part by two Republican clerks.

        Actually, I may have smiled a bit while typing that as well.

        1. The power is weak in Lord Flatulence tonight.  He struggles to explain blatant photo-trickery with a 'We're all human and make mistakes' excuse.  Now I have to wonder if he knows perfectly well that this is a phony black ops exposed to the light of truth but pretends that geez whiz it was just an honest mistake.  Only in his dark heart does Lord Flatulence know what he believes but you can bet that this lying sack of shit truly truly believes that there was a cover up and conspiracy about Bengazi.  No human mistakes or miscalculations there.  Republicans caught read handed were the real victims of government but a lack of 'any' evidence regarding a Benghazi coverup isn't important because they 'know' even when they don't know shit about mail-in ballots.  You're a pathetic person Elliot.

      2. I guess I could buy the "innocent mistake" story if we were just talking about the first two or three actions in Mr. Keyser's series of unfortunate events.  Getting two ballots in the mail and having your already-primed righty spidey sense aroused on the lookout for voter fraud?  Jumped to a poor conclusion, sure.  But it does kinda walk like a duck.

        Cover up identifying information on one of the ballots, then take a picture of both of them and tweet it to the whole wide world alleging a failed system?  Now that's starting to quack like a duck.  Shred your evidence of said failed system before the failure can be verified by officials charged with upholding the law?  Now it's really starting to smell like duck shit all over his shoes.  I am going to go out on a limb and jump to the conclusion that what we have here is, in fact, a duck.

      3. Fladen,scribbling out the address on one of the envelopes before he took the picture kinda shoots holes in "jumped to a conclusion". Actually opening the envelopes and discovering that only the property question was incuded on the "other" ballot might have helped, too.He's a lawyer, so he can't actually be stupid.That leaves "he thinks I am".

      4. You are an ass.  Facts and circumstances point to a deliberate attempt to mislead:  photograph staged to support the misrepresentation and make it difficult to ascertain the truth, and the ludicrousness of the claim that he shredded the offending ballot.  Or maybe he is just a par for the course, barely able to walk and breathe Republican:  did he really believe that nobody would be able to determine why he might have received a second ballot?

        He's either a mendacious lawyer who should be sanctioned, or too stupid to serve in the lege–let alone occupy a desk at Hogans.

          1. I object to your reference to fledermauser which perform a useful task in the greater ecology. The same may not be said for the object of your intended reference.  EF performs no role other than to illustrate the depths to which right wingers will sink in an attempt to justify their power grabs,besides which Die Fledermaus is a pretty good opera.Also too if he forgot "the drive" he deserves to be reported to somebody for something.

            1. Let's go through this discussion through the various threads:
              1) I was originally asked for my thoughts on this.  I hadn't read about it, mainly because I am getting ready for a trial in a week. 
              2) I said I hadn't read about it, and poes were composed about my lack of bravery. 
              3) I got curious and read about it, and it looked to me that the guy jumped to an erroneous conclusion but also agreed that the positioning of the envelopes in the original photo was indeed suspcious
              4) I get my name put in some faux german and have people saying I have sunk to great depths

              And you wonder, on this background, why I don't take you guys that seriously?

                1. Not just this episode sinks you to great depths, El.  It's months and months of IOIYAR that sinks you to great depths. 

                  Just for clarity.

                  Not legal advice.

                    1. Once? How many times has Elliott defended the indefensible, with the most disingenuous and intellectually dishonest arguments imaginable? 

                  1. IOIYAR – got proof of that?  You don't.  I go after the GOP when they do stupid stuff (Jax Bubis, Dave Williams, Immigration, etc), just not with you guys because you keep picking random trumped up stuff (like this and that Hackstaff Mailer thread). 

                    But hey – if you guys want to play Judge Dredd on a thread, knock yourselves out. 

                    1. Der Fladermaus is right, there have been dozens of times he's stood up for what's right in the face of the GOP powerful…like….


                      Ah, hell…we have to stick with IOIYAR, because IOIYAR(WOTROGPBTEWTSUT) is far too much to type.

                      *It's OK If You're A Republican (Who's Outside The Roster Of GOP Power Brokers That Elliot Wants To Suck Up To)

                      Nobody here is playing Judge Dredd. He's a Rebellion Developments character, while Der Fladermaus is part of the GOP WonderPets collectionTotally different universe. 

              1. Or, we can go through what really happened:

                1) Elliot was asked for his thoughts, owing to his status as resident GOP lapdog and Self-Respect Limbo Grand Champion. 

                2) Eillott said he hadn't read about it, and didn't intend to, thus, supposedly, recusing himself from another discussion in which defending the GOP's actions while trying to sound smart would make him look even sillier than normal; song lyrics were then shamelessly stolen from Monty Python by a brilliant (and some might say, devastatingly handsome) poster, paying homage to Elliott's lack of bravery.  

                3) Seeing the Fladermaus signal alight in the night sky, Elliott leaps into action, reads the story, and concots an "erroneous conclusion" defense, desperately hoping no one notices the obvious duplicity in the photographs. It's noticed, of course, and he's forced to agree it looks suspicous, but that's as far as he'll go in the direction of honesty. 

                4) Elliott gets made fun of yet again by everyone on ColoradoPols who possesses an IQ higher than the speed limit on I-15 in Utah, and whines about it. 

                And once more, the world is spinning in greased grooves….  

                (that one was stolen from Steinbeck)

      5. Jumped to a wrong conclusion, photographed it, tweeted it then destroyed the evidence for it supposedly without really looking at it, making serious accusations based only what I guessed must be in it before I shredded it?  

        The answer is no, Elliot. There simply was no innocent reason for him to raise an alarm about this without looking at it (he says) and then conveniently destroying it sight unseen. You're never going to sell that to anyone. I can't believe you're really managing to sell it to yourself. I doubt Keyser himself expects anyone to buy your string of innocent mistakes version. He just didn't think anyone outside his little twitter bubble of bubble heads was going to be paying any attention and those bubble heads would be happy to see what he wanted them to see and not question it.

        And you really needn't have bothered. I already covered all possibilities for any possible reply for you. On the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil stuff you're completely predictable.

  8. The more I look at that photo, the worse it gets for Keyser and collaterally for Eliott. There's more missing from that envelope than the bar code by the address, There are several sets of numbers printed on the envelope of the real ballot that are absent on the fake. Also the addressee label looks as if it was printed, hand-trimmed and pasted on to a sheet of paper that was slipped into the envelope after the back flap was lfted and reglued. I am being picky, playing detective, but he went to a lot of work to purpetrate this fraud and his efforts should be duly noted

  9. I'm not so familar with the individuals that regularly post on here. But some seem to lack strong communication and leadership skills.
    I refer mainly to the use of language that is generally considered vulgar, offensive and extremely harsh.

    "lying sack of s**t"


    Hard to read comments with any amount of respect when authors communicate in such juvenile fashion.

    Come on people, step up your game and show some maturity.

      1. And there you have it.

        observe, nobody smacks people down here. Pols rarely does, when it looks like we're going over the line and getting too personal. The one  line that must not be crossed is "outing" a poster's real world identity. Some use real names; most don't.

        I offer suggestions on posts occasionally, when I feel offended by something. People usually ignore my suggestions,and they're free to do so. Your suggestions were ignored, probably because you sounded condescending.

        This forum is a pretty free wheeling place.  Give my regards to your horse.

  10. I don't curse on here for a few reasons:

    • habit – in my work environment, around kids, one doesn't curse, period
    • professional interest  (I'd like to blog under my own name someday – meanwhile, what I write could block my employment options even more than they are now)
    • as a writer, I find constant use of, say, the f word as a verb/adjective/noun/adverb etc to be boring. It's shocking for emphasis, loses its shock value otherwise. Sometimes, the excesses of politicians are shocking, and cursing is the appropriate response. This isn't a forum which suffers fools and liars gladly, if at all.
    • but I don't think it really says anything about the writer's "maturity".  Most of the writers who do use vulgar language are perfectly capable of writing without it.


  11. I ran across this story after reading the OTHER story written earlier this month about the other politician trying to pull a similar idiotic stunt. This is the exact sort of behavior that has made the Republican party in Colorado a joke. They do these things and then sit back and wonder why they can't seem to make any political progress in this state. Candidates like Jon Keyser are nothing more than cheap, disingenuous, egotistical, self-serving hacks who delude themselves into believing that the rest of us are stupid enough to believe that an attorney, whom I assume has a decent education, is clueless to the fact that property owners in the state of Colorado are eligible to cast two ballots if he or she owns property in more than one jurisdiction. Really? Give me a break, man. I might have missed it elsewhere in the comments, but I would bet this Keyser creep recieved a ballot for the Delta county property for every election year since he's owned it.

    I realize this story is old, but it really rubbed me the wrong way after I found it. The only thing worse than a liar is a sucky, sneaky liar, such as Jon Keyser. The way he took those pictures of the LEGAL ballots he recieved is nothing more than disgusting, dishonest political chicanery. His failed system isn't the one that sent him two legal ballots to fill out for two separate properties he owns. It's the system between his ears that failed, and quite frankly, with the amount of education that this "attorney" has, I find that scary, disheartening, and pathetic. Perhaps Keyser is taking lessons from Dan Maes? Maybe Keyser ought to take Maes's last lesson first and drop out before he humiliates himself and his family even more? What a way to start a political career. I thought one had to serve years in politics before becoming a self-centered sniveling little putz eveybody hated? Talk about going from 0-100 in no time. This guy went straight for his own jugular right off the bat, and I'm glad there are sites out there like this and the independent to spotlight it. People like Keyser have no place representing a public who expects more than "cheap ballot tricks".

    I sincerely hope that someone in Jeffco will take this political errand boy out of the race. He and those of his ilk are the reason politics suck and they are also the reason why many people have zero to no faith in politics. Futhermore, the poster who state that he violated the Colorado Bar Code of Conduct is right on. Keyser should be disbarred for his chicanery and forced to find another job- outside of politics. Too many palms greasing too many other palms, though, so fat chance of that happening.

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