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Delta County Elections Clerk Discusses Election - Part 1

by Chairman Dave Bradford


Rene Loy Maas, the Delta County Elections Clerk, made a presentation on Election Integrity in Delta County at the May 4, 2021 Delta County Republican Central Committee meeting. The DCRCC has been looking into election integrity following the 2020 election and the numerous claims of voter fraud.


The following is a summary of the presentation Rene made to the DCRCC. Additionally, I met with Rene several times during the month of April and reviewed the various allegations of fraud that are being made on the Internet, including the Mike Lindel and Doug Frank videos.


After numerous viewings of the various videos and attendance at a presentation by Doug Frank in Grand Junction I believe the allegations of voter fraud can be synthesized to the following four issues:

1) Intrusions by outside entities into the Voting Machines, over the Internet, to change votes from one candidate to another.

2) Adjudicated ballots – Dominion software causes a large number of ballots to be rejected and require adjudication, allowing “election judges” to change or alter the vote.

3) Shadow ballots – Individuals use the Voter Registration Database to identify registered but seldom-voting voters. These individuals then print ballots and vote for these “seldom-voting” voters.

4) Undocumented people acquire Driver’s Licenses and are automatically registered to vote.

We discussed these issues and Rene made a point of going on the Internet to view the videos. The following is a summary of the points Rene made about Election Integrity in Delta County.


Election Process

  • Ballot content is certified 60 days prior to Election Day by the Colorado Secretary of State and each local entity participating in the election.

  • Ballots are mailed to every active registered voter 22 days prior to Election Day.

  • Ballots are collected by bipartisan teams of judges at each of the 5 -24 hour drop off locations (1) Delta County Courthouse, 2) North Fork Annex in Hotchkiss, 3) Cedaredge Library, 4) Orchard City Town Hall and 5) Paonia Town Hall.)

  • Each drop off location is equipped with video surveillance.

  • Ballots are picked up approximately every 72 hours and then daily, as we get closer to Election Day.

  • Ballots are transferred to the election office by the bipartisan team of judges in sealed containers with a chain of custody transfer log attached to it.

  • Seals are verified by a different team of bipartisan election judges in the Courthouse office to verify that nothing changed during transport.

  • When ballots are returned either by mail or from the drop off location(s) they are received into the statewide voter registration system and verified that an eligible elector cast them. (This is done by scanning the bar code on the outside of the envelope. This distinct bar code is tied to each eligible voter. If there is no valid bar code, the ballot cannot be processed any further).

  • Again ballots are sealed into a tote and seals are logged on a seal log.

  • Only teams of bipartisan judges are able to open ballot totes at any given time.


Signature verification

  • Signature Verification is done by a team of bipartisan judges on every ballot received by mail.

  • If a ballot is rejected due to a signature discrepancy, missing a signature, or ID required we will mail a letter to the voter allowing them to “cure” their ballot in order to be counted.

  • Signature cures are allowed up to 8 days after the election.

  • Ballots that have been signature verified are sent to the ballot processing room.

  • Ballots are opened and scanned into the tabulation system by a team of bipartisan judges.

Ballot Adjudication

  • Ballot adjudication is done by a bipartisan team of election judges.

  • Ballots that are submitted for review are blank ballots, over votes, ambiguous marks, and write in’s (These criteria are set by the Secretary of State).

  • Each race filtered for review is evaluated by the election judges for voter intent.

  • If voter intent can be determined the vote is reflected the way the voter intended for it to be, as determined by the election judges.

  • If voter intent cannot be determined the ballot is left the way it is and a vote will not be captured for that race only.

  • Ballot adjudication is captured in an audit trail and election staff randomly reviews or audits for training purposes and accuracy.

  • Ballots that need duplication such as damaged ballots, ballots voted with red pen or a pen that can’t be detected by the voting system or ballots with identifying information on ballots are duplicated by a bipartisan team of judges. (Some voters actually sign their names or initial changes on their ballot.)

Election Results

  • Results are reported to the Colorado Secretary of State by downloading the tabulated results to a flash drive. The downloaded data is then uploaded to the election night reporting software on computers at the Election Clerks workstations, not from the election tabulation computers. Election staff verifies the vote totals prior to publishing each time results are released.

  • State rules require that preliminary results must be published Election night after 7pm but no later than 8pm.

  • Results are uploaded again at 9pm and again once all ballots have been tabulated.

  • The next upload of results happens after the 8-day overseas return period and signature cure process.

  • Once the election is certified, results are shown as certified in the reporting software.

Voting Equipment

  • Dominion is an U.S. Voting system that has passed both federal and state certification and testing requirements. It is headquartered in the U.S in Denver, CO.

  • Delta County moved to Dominion voting equipment in 2017 when Hart Intercivic voting equipment started to fail.

  • Hart Intercivic was used in Delta County from 2006 – 2016 and was no longer able to support system upgrades or computer software (Windows 7).

  • Dominion was the only State Certified equipment at that time (2017).

  • Clear Ballot has since been certified in the State of Colorado.

  • A “trusted build” is installed on the voting equipment after purchase or any upgrade to the software.

  • The “trusted build” means the software and firmware for which the Secretary of State has established the certified build of software and is the only component of the voting system.

  • Colorado uses chain of custody logs, which are a written record documenting security, possession and control of a voting system component.

  • Voting equipment is kept in a secure location in the courthouse with limited access to the room.

  • Locks are changed on the door yearly, prior to the first election.

  • Only specific people who pass a background check have access to the room without being accompanied by an election official.

  • Security cameras record the ballot processing room starting 60 days prior to Election Day and 30 days after.

  • All voting equipment operates on a closed network.

  • Closed network means a network configuration in which voting system components connected to and communicate only with each other and not with the Internet or any other computer network.

  • Wifi has been disabled in the BIOS settings on each piece of equipment, and cell phone cards have also been disabled.

  • Vendors are accompanied during any upgrades by the Colorado Secretary of State (who must reinstall the trusted build) and County Election Officials.

  • The clerk’s office is involved in every process of the upgrade and must hardware test after an upgrade to verify all aspects of the equipment.

  • A hardware test and logic and accuracy test is done on voting equipment prior to every election to verify that votes tabulated by the voting equipment is accurate.

  • Logic and Accuracy testing is completed by a representative of the Republican and Democrat Parties. Any changes in programming of any voting device after completing the logic and accuracy test is not permitted.

  • Risk-limiting audits are conducted after each election.

  • A risk-limiting audit is a post-election audit that gives a statistical level of confidence that the outcome of an election is correct.

  • After preforming a risk-limiting audit we can say that there is a high probability that the reported winners accurately reflect how voters marked their ballots.

  • In an audit, ballots are randomly selected and compared to the actual cast vote record of how the voting system tabulated that ballot.

  • Ballot Audit Review Tool – Pueblo and El Paso have posted a tool on their website to show all the ballot images and the how the software tabulated the ballot. We are hopeful that Delta County will be able to do this in the future. Note there are no identifying marks on the ballots that tie a ballot to a specific voter.


Cybersecurity

  • The Intelligence Community has previously assessed that it would be difficult for a foreign actor to manipulate election processes at scale without detection by intelligence collection, post-election audits or physical and cyber security monitoring of voting systems.

  • Colorado has a rigorous training for cyber security as well as detection monitoring and software.

Voter registration

  • Colorado uses a statewide voter registration system. (SCORE)

  • We are able to compare voter name, Date of Birth, Drivers License Number, or Last four digits of Social Security Numbers to verify each eligible voter.

  • If a voter does not provide a verifiable ID at the time of registration they are required to return a copy of their ID with their mail ballot.

  • We receive updates monthly from social security administration for voters that are ID required verifying their information is correct.

  • Every voter who votes in person has to provide an acceptable ID at the time of voting.

  • Data maintenance is constantly performed to keep the voter rolls current.

The following are some examples of information we use to update voter records.

  • AVR - Automatic Voter Registration has been implemented since May of 2020 with Driver’s License.

  • Only eligible citizens are sent to us to be able to register voters.

  • Non-citizens are not included in the automatic registration.

  • NCOA –A list is sent to each county monthly to update the voters address according to the Nation Change of Address from the U.S. Post office

  • CDPHE – Colorado Department Public Health and Environment sends data to the state which is then forwarded to the County Clerk to cancel deceased voters.

  • CDOC –Colorado Department of Corrections. Cancels voters who are currently serving sentences for a felony conviction.

  • ERIC – Electronic Registration Information Center. Thirty states and the District of Columbia participate in the program. ERIC provides value by identifying out of date records found by comparing voter registration data between states, to motor vehicle licensing agency data and to the Social Security Administration master death index list. ERIC began in July of 2013 with 7 states.

  • NVRA – National Voting Rights Act. Colorado must follow NVRA list maintenance guidelines to determine whether to remove names from voter rolls. A county may not remove a voter from the rolls unless it receives written notice from a voter or the county receives information the voter residence has changed, the voter fails to respond to a notice/correspondence from the county and the voter fails to vote in two consecutive general elections after the notice has been sent.

  • Other Internal Checks – Confirmation letters sent to voters to update registration, Social Security updates for ID required voters, voter merge, address library maintenance, Online voter registration, other voter registration applications received daily.

  • 20 Day Notice – New voters are sent a confirmation letter by non-forward able mail, if the confirmation letter is returned undeliverable with-in the 20 day period the voter record is cancelled and the voter is deemed not registered.

Part 2 of this blog, the Assessment of the Delta County Election Process, will be posted next Sunday, May 23, 2021.


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