Longmont, CO. — The Boulder County Republicans declined to certify the 2023 Coordinated Election, with Party leaders citing multiple, solvable vulnerabilities with Boulder County’s election. Concerns included improper monitoring of 24-hour ballot drop boxes and faulty signature verification judge training, a process that directly affects the acceptance of valid ballots from valid voters, which could potentially impact the number of ballots counted.
During the canvass board meeting, the Elections Division staff from the Boulder County Clerk’s office presented the Summary of Votes and Ballots Cast. It was presented that in the 2023 Coordinated Election, 82% of the ballots received were returned through the 24-hour ballot drop boxes. It was also stated that a very low percentage of ballots were cast in person at a vote center, requiring 98% of ballots to go through the signature verification process.
Republican canvass board member, Theresa Watson, cited vulnerabilities in the Boulder County Elections, drop boxes and the signature verification process. Watson reminded the canvass board that in 2022, a complaint was filed with the Boulder County Clerk that included specific evidence showing drop boxes in Boulder County did not have video surveillance that was compliant with state statute. Also, Watson, through her own observations over multiple elections, noticed a lack of proficient training for signature verification judges who are responsible for “ensuring that only those individuals eligible to vote have their vote counted.” (CO SoS Signature Verification Guide Overview)
These vulnerabilities cast a shadow on Boulder County’s ballot return system using non-compliant dropbox surveillance and ineffective training for determining legal voter signatures through the signature verification process. The Boulder County Republicans acknowledged the Boulder County Elections Division staff were very professional and thorough, and it was noted there were many improved processes from previous elections making ballot processing more reliable and transparent. We look forward to working with the Boulder County Elections in the future to remove these vulnerabilities to promote secure elections for all citizens of Boulder County.
The canvass board consists of one representative from each of the two major political parties and the Clerk & Recorder. The duty of the canvass board is to reconcile the ballots cast in an election to confirm that the number of ballots counted does not exceed the number of ballots cast, reconcile the ballots cast in each precinct in the county to confirm that the number of ballots cast does not exceed the number of registered electors in the precinct, and certify the abstract of votes cast and transmit the certification to the secretary of state. A simple majority among the board members constitutes a certified election.