Archuleta County GOP Joins the Big Lie

I am deeply disappointed that the Archuleta County Republican Party (ACRP) appears to have embraced the folly of the “Big Lie,” the false allegation that the 2020 election was stolen, despite NO evidence that significant election fraud occurred at the Federal. State, or county level. I say this because on the homepage of the party’s website, the following appears:

Require Photo ID
Get rid of any machines involved in the process, including tabulators!
End mass mail-in voting!
Voters must request a mail-in or an absentee ballot.

This demand is an insult to the thousands of election officials who toil faithfully to make our elections fair and honest, including here in Archuleta County. Many of these democracy heroes are Republicans, as the county party knows.

The ACRP wants everyone to vote on a paper ballot which would then be tabulated by humans This proposal is opposed by most County Clerks of both parties, as it would slow the process dramatically, cost much more, and make it less accurate. I saw an interview with the Republican Clerk in conservative El Paso County, Chuck Boerman, appearing in the Colorado Springs Independent. He cited a study conducted by two universities in 2012 that found that hand counting ballots resulted in a 2% error rate. He says that scanners are virtually error-free. His county’s scanners were tested against the national standard of one misread ballot in 500,000 scanned. There was actually not a single misread. That, plus the fact that scanners are carefully secured and the whole process of vote tabulation is overseen by election judges of both parties makes hand tabulation a charade.

How about mail voting, which includes dropping off ballots at a dropbox? Legislation establishing all mail voting passed in 2012 The legislation acknowledged that 70% of Coloradoans were already casting mail ballots. The law was developed with input from local election officials of both parties, so received widespread support. The key to security in the system is ballot signature matching software, the same software used by banks to process billions of checks. Signature matching is supervised by election judges who are free to challenge any ballot. Ballot dropoff boxes require 24-hour surveillance. And voters can still cast ballots in person at the county election office, although only a tiny percentage do.

Mail-in balloting has increased voter turnout from 51% in 2010 to 78% in 2020, which seems like what democracy is all about. Since 2012, both Democrats and Republicans have been elected, including Cory Gardner, who won a close upset race against incumbent Senator Mark Udall in 2014. Three other Republicans also won statewide races that year. At the same time, the cost of elections has plunged more than 50%. So, mail balloting appears like a win-win, unless your party feels that it can’t win elections if more voters turn out.

And where is the evidence of fraud? I ask all voters to look at the facts and reject solutions in search of a problem!

--John Porco, ACDP Vice Chair

See also the April 2022 visit of Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

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