I want to start this blog by thanking all the Republican voters who voted in the November 8, 2022 election – THANK YOU! Your vote made a difference. This was especially true in the race for Congressional District 3. Congresswoman Boebert won by 546 votes, out of 327,132 votes cast. This was an incredibly close race.
We had six efforts in the 2022 General Election. They were:
$500 cash donation to each of the eleven candidates in a competitive race.
Voter Registration efforts.
Blogs on the Candidates and other ballot issues.
Radio Ad Campaign.
Post Card Mailing.
Canvassing to get out the Vote.
Let’s talk about the results:
Voter turnout in Delta County
In the November 8, 2022 election, there were 16,123 ballots cast, out of 22,576 registered active voters for a 71.42% voter turnout. This is even higher than the 2018 General election when there were 15,962 ballots cast out of 22,372 registered active voters for a 71.35% voter turnout. Statewide, there were 2,540,666 ballots cast out of 3,833,468 registered active voters for a 66.28% voter turnout. I believe we got a fairly good turnout here in Delta County. In reviewing the turnout in other counties, there were 22 counties (out of the 64 in the state) that had a higher turnout. The highest on a percentage basis was Kiowa County, out on the Eastern Plains, with a 78.64% voter turnout. Many were small counties, like Delta County, but there were a number of large counties that had a higher voter turnout than Delta County – Boulder @ 74.47%, Jefferson @ 71.65%, and Douglas @ 71.96%. There have been comments made that the Republicans did not turn-out in significant numbers. I checked the Delta County Republican voter turn-out and 72.9% of the registered Republican voters voted. This compares to 69% of the Democrat voters that voted and 61% of the Unaffiliated voters in Delta County voted. So, while I believe we did well in getting Republican voters to vote, there is room for improvement.
Voter turnout statewide
In checking the statewide voter turnout, the results were as follows. The Republicans had the highest percentage of voters who voted – 714,814 out of the registered 1,067,304 for a 67% voter turnout. The Democrats had 774,401 voters out of 1,192,956 registered for a 65% voter turnout. There were 1,034,950 Unaffiliated voters out of 1,726,609 registered for a 60% voter turnout. So, percentage wise we did better than the Dems and the UAs. BUT, we are the smallest of the three. So, we need more Republican voters or we need more voters to vote Republican. Looking at the number of registered Republicans – 1,067,304 and subtracting the number who voted – 714,814 leaves 352,490 Republicans who did not vote. Could this have changed the outcome of the election? Well, Joe O’Dea, Heidi Ganahl, Pam Anderson, Lang Sias and John Kellner all lost by 261,000 to 485,000 votes. So, if those 352,490 Republicans who did not vote had voted, would it have changed the results of the election? It certainly seems so to me. Only Joe O’Dea and Heidi Ganahl lost by more than 352,000 votes. I believe this indicates that voter turnout is critical to winning elections. I believe it also indicates that selling our message to Unaffiliated voters is critical to win the big statewide elections.
I know many of us were disappointed in the overall results. However, we cannot despair. The battle continues, whether we want to engage in it or not. And I hope we all want to continue to fight. There were positive things that occurred in the election and most of those occurred at the local level. We need to recognize the positives and build on them. So, what was positive about the election? For starters, we did well locally. All of our local candidates won and they won conclusively. Of the six county-level races, five of them were uncontested, and the one contested race, County Commissioner District 1, was won by Mike Lane who received 10,638 votes or 68%. A more than 2 – 1 margin. Our state legislator races were all won by Republican candidates – Janice Rich, Matt Soper and Marc Catlin. Janice Rich received 72% of the vote in Delta County and 70% in all of SD7; Matt Soper won 78% of the vote in Delta County and 73% in all of HD54 and Marc Catlin received 57% of the vote in Delta County and 56.8% of the vote in all of HD 58. Delta County voted Republican in all three races at a higher level than in each of the districts. Delta County voted Republican from a low of 57% to a high of 78% for all the candidates. The statewide candidates all received 61 to 66% of the ballots cast in Delta County. This is a huge improvement from the 35 and 46% voter turnout earlier this year for the Special District and Primary elections. I believe the efforts this Committee made to support our candidates and get the vote out paid off and were a significant contributor to the success at the local level.
The CD3 Race
Congresswoman Boebert received 10,173, or 64%, of the 15,776 ballots cast in the CD3 race in Delta County. At the end of the election, Statewide the race stood at 163,842 votes for Boebert (50.08%) and 163,292 for Frisch (49.9%). 550 votes difference or 0.18% difference. This caused the mandatory recount required by state statute to kick in. (CRS 1-10.5-101 - A recount of any election contest shall be held if the difference between the highest number of votes cast in that election contest and the next highest number of votes cast in that election contest is less than or equal to one-half of one percent of the highest vote cast in that election contest.) That means Boebert would have needed at least 820 votes more than Frisch to avoid a mandatory recount. Although, the Frisch campaign could have requested a recount, though his campaign would have to pay for it. There have been rumors that if Frisch withdrew, then there would be no recount. That may be true. SoS Rule 10.9.6 says Losing candidates may submit a letter of withdrawal before the recount begins. Some say if he withdrew, the Democrat Party would appoint a replacement. Whatever the actual situation is, Frisch DID NOT submit a letter of withdrawal, so it is a moot point. What happens if the recount changed the outcome? Well, it would change the outcome, in spite of Frisch’s concession. This recount was critical.
Before I go into the recount let me go into the Rejected Ballots and other ballots that weren’t counted until Wednesday November 16. There were 147 Rejected Ballots in Delta County. They were rejected because of No Signature or a Non-matching Signature. These voters were notified by mail by the County and were given 8 days to fix or “Cure” their ballots. The Boebert Campaign requested each County Party to assist in contacting these voters and helping them cure their ballots. Myself, Tom Howe, Shirley Bauer, Sue Whittlesey, and Cathy Cheatham worked on contacting the Republican voters who had rejected ballots. The Frisch campaign was also doing the same thing for Democrat voters. Both campaigns could contact the Unaffiliated voters, though one was never sure which way the voter voted. Over 60 % of the ballots were cured (the highest percentage that Delta County elections clerk Rene Loy remembers). This effort helped Boebert pick up 30 more votes over Frisch in Delta County. So, a big shout-out to those folks for helping on this effort. The other ballots that had to be counted on November 16th were the UCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voter Act) or Military ballots. The Transfer ballots, the Statewide ballots and the Hold-back ballots. In Colorado, you can vote in-person anywhere in the state and that county will transfer that ballot to your home county for tabulation. (The down side of this is that you only vote on the other county’s ballot and you won’t be voting for your county’s candidates and ballot issues – only the federal and statewide candidates and statewide ballot issues.) The Hold-back ballots are ballots that each county holds back to mix in with the UCAVA or military ballots so people who are scrutinizing the results can’t determine how the military voted. These different categories of ballots are why the final results change at the 8-day stage, after election day.
So, what happens in the recount? Because this was mandatory, each county had to recount in the same manner that the original recount took place. The recount in Delta County started Wednesday morning, December 7th. It was required to be completed by December 12th. Delta County completed the recount on December 8th. Louise Fierro was the Republican election judge; we had several people signed up as Watchers as well. I served as the Watcher on Wednesday morning.
There were eight of us in the tabulation room for the recount – the two election judges - Louise Fierro (R) and Jean Walsh (D), Rene Loy and Melinda Sanford - the two county elections clerks, Christy for the Secretary of State’s office, Danica Uhlmer representing the Boebert campaign, Claire Hydock (watcher for the Democrats) and myself (watcher for the Republicans). We had three other watchers who worked the remainder of the recount in half-day shifts. A log is kept of everyone who comes into the tabulation room and everyone has to sign in. Before the recount begins, the equipment is tested for accuracy (the Logic & Accuracy Test or LAT). A number of ballots are run through the tabulation scanner and the results are verified for accuracy. These are ballots where the results have been previously counted. The ballots are a mix of ballot types – 20 are ballots that the election judges have filled out. Fifty-one are ballots from a previous LAT, that were generated on the in-person voting machines and 283 were ballots generated by the election clerks for a total of 354 ballots. The testing took an hour to complete and the results were 100% accurate. At that point the recount began.
Ballots are stored in batches of around 25 ballots in individual folders. The folders are then stored in totes, that are marked with “tamper-resistant” labels that have a serial number, that is tracked in a log that is stored in each tote. The election judges are the individuals who handle the ballots – checking the logs, removing the ballots, running the ballots through the scanner, then returning the ballots to the secured totes. As the ballots are run through the scanner, the scanner flags ballots that have a questionable vote. These are votes that were not filled out (undervotes), votes where more than one candidate was voted for (overvotes), votes where the voter changed their vote or where the voter voted for a write-in candidate. The election judges then have to review each of these votes and make a determination on what the voter’s intent was. Watchers are allowed to stand directly behind the election judges to observe how they handle these evaluations. This is where changes in the vote numbers can take place. If the election judges determine that the original evaluation was incorrect, they can change the way the vote is tabulated. The recount for Delta County took a day and a half to complete. There were no changes in the results. Indicating that the election officials and judges did a good job in the original count. At the end of the statewide recount, the ballot count changed a total of 4 votes – Boebert lost 3 votes and Frisch picked up 1 vote. The final count was Boebert 163,839 (50.08%); Frisch 163,293 (49.92%).
So, what does this mean for Lauren Boebert – is her support slipping? In 2020, Boebert received 12,937(67.57%) votes in Delta County out of 19,553 ballots cast (88.22% voter turnout). This is an 18% difference or 3,430 fewer votes cast in 2022 than in 2020. Statewide, Boebert received 220,634 votes in 2020 (51.4%) and 163,842 votes in 2022 (50.08%). So, Boebert’s support in Delta County dropped by 3.5%, 67.57% to 64%, from 2020 to 2022. District-wide her support dropped by 1.5%, 51.4% in 2020 to 50.4% in 2022. Remember, the lower voter numbers in 2022 are due to a lower voter turnout. CD 3 Is a very mixed district. In this election there were 13 counties that voted Democrat and 14 counties that voted Republican. I know the Delta County Independent is trying to make it sound like Boebert is not supported by her constituents, but CD 3 has been a mixed district for quite a while. The Ski Counties are reliably Democrat. Which means the non-ski counties need to get their vote out or the Democrats will totally shut them out.
There is much more to analyze at the statewide level. But I think the disappointing results can be summed up by saying the Republicans are losing because more Democrats and Unaffiliated voters are voting for Democrat candidates and policies than Republicans. How do we change that? I think the answer is more we need to get more people to register and vote as Republicans. I realize this sounds simple and many folks would label it simplistic.
I am sure that there are folks that do not share this perspective and that the voting machines are the problem. But I have not seen any definitive proof that this is the problem, in spite of spending considerable time and effort researching this. I understand the examples shown in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan ARE very compelling. They are the reason I spent so much time looking into this. But I have not been able to get DEFINITIVE proof that the fraud that is being alleged has taken place. Especially here in Delta County and even Colorado. There are numerous other analyses of why the Colorado Republican Party did not do well at the state level, but this is my take on it.
A few sidenotes – only 12 voters wrote in the names of candidates from the Primary that were not valid candidates in the General election – Ron Hanks and Tina Peters. And then only 704 people (Or 4%) voted in person – 319 in Delta, 101 in Orchard City and 204 at the North Fork Annex in Hotchkiss. (Delta was open for 15 days, NFA for 3 days and OC for 1 day). It is fair to say that Delta County voters are not turning to in-person voting in a large way.
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped as Watchers in this past election. We had ten people volunteer to work as Watchers. I’d like to recognize them – they were Tom Howe, Cheryl Robinson, Kayla Rosen, Tim Barwick, Jeff Hinkley, Cathy Brown, Margaret Hollander, Frank White, Lynn Denton and myself. And a special thanks to our Voter Integrity Chairman Curt Grinnell for organizing this effort and developing a schedule.
Status of DCRCC HQ
We have shut-down our operations storefront on Main Street in downtown Delta and moved all our equipment into storage at the Whittlesey’s. The reason for this is so that Brad Davis can work on the building. Brad has said that he would like to be able to rent part of the storefront out and keep the back portion for his Davis Clothing business. We should be able to return to the storefront sometime next year but we are shut-down for the time being. Which is fine. We need to look at modifying our operations in 2023. Both to give our Outreach Committee volunteers a break and to look at doing some of our outreach and fund-raising in a different manner. But before we get into that, I want to thank Brad Davis for his generous contribution of letting the Delta County Republicans use the storefront - Thank you, Brad!
Plans for 2023
As I said earlier, we are going to be doing some things different in 2023. I believe we are still going to be doing our normal outreach efforts of participating in each of the Town summer events, i.e., Pioneer Days in Crawford, Cherry Days in Paonia, Deltarado Days in Delta, the County Fair in Hotchkiss and Applefest in Cedaredge. We will also be doing our Lincoln Day Dinner. It has been suggested that we look at some outreach efforts that will draw in Unaffiliated and disenchanted Democrat voters and we look at putting on some educational programs, such as How Caucus Works. We will be fleshing out these plans over the next month. If you have suggestions and ideas, please let me know.
Remember, we have changed the date of our next DCRCC monthly meeting to the second Tuesday of January – January 10, 2023. We will be voting on the update of the Bylaws at that meeting. I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope to see you on the 10th.
David Bradford Delta County Republican Central Committee Chairman