To: Amanda Gonzales, Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder
From: Nancy Pallozzi, Jefferson County Republicans Chair and Canvass Board Member
Hoa Vu, Jefferson County Republican Canvass Board Member
Liz Veeder, Jefferson County Republicans Vice-Chair
Jackie Schroeder, Jefferson County Republicans Secretary
Date: November 28, 2023
Re: Minority Report for the 2023 Canvass
As my first year of observing the Jefferson County Elections as Chair and a Canvass Board Member, I want to begin by saying that my experience was exceptional and the entire staff at the clerk’s office was always kind and willing to answer any questions I had for them. Thank you.
I know that the Jefferson County Clerk’s office takes tremendous pride in their procedures, protocols, and chain of custody of ballots once they are received and it shows. However, there were many things that I witnessed that gives me reason to Not Certify the 2023 election. Some of the reasons below are procedural, that could be changed to bring more transparency to our elections.
1. The duplication process is flawed. This is a small percentage of ballots; however, in close races, this could make a difference. I observed numerous times the election judge that received a ballot that had an overvote simply left it blank when duplicating the ballot exactly. Therefore, what was once considered an overvote, was changed to an undervote. So, the CPR does not match with what is factual in this year’s election.
2. Signature Verification. There is not a bi-partisan team that observes the signatures for round 1. There is 1 judge for each tablet. I observed many times, where the signature did not match in any way and should have been pushed over to the 2nd non-partisan team, but was not, and accepted by the judge. This has always been a questionable step in every election.
3. The undeliverable ballots. Why is there not a chain of custody procedures in place, with a bi-partisan team, and a report of them for data? Instead, they are in bins on the wall open to everyone. And why doesn’t the image verification team look at them after the elections and make changes to your voter records? From I saw, there are approximately 20,000 ballots on that wall. Many of the envelopes I looked at were change of addresses that have moved out of state. Why are these not sorted through up after every election to help with the cleaning up of the voter rolls instead of just putting them in the data as undeliverable or failed to vote status, which may make them inactive or continue to be active and receive ballots.
4. In an effort to help with voter confidence, and showing that the tabulators are not set up to any internet, perhaps exposing the wires so they can be audited by a bi-partisan team. El Paso County Clerk, has a perfect example of how to do this. It seems it could be done with a little effort and not cut into your budget. And with this possible change, it could help us with the validity of the dominion software, as that still comes into question at every election.
5. The RLA is a required step that every county is required to do; however, the random sampling of the ballots pulled from the sealed boxes were computer generated and focused on 2 races, Prop HH and Lakewood City Mayors race. A true random sampling should be from bi-partisan teams, not connected with the clerk’s office, not a computer generated sampling, and the canvass board is given the opportunity to choose 2 races, one statewide and 1 within the County. For me, Prop HH and Arvada City Mayors race should be the 2 to choose in the November 2023 election.
I understand that what I mentioned above may not be possible, because you are regulated by the Secretary of State, but making these changes would help with cleaning up voter records, and making sure each ballot has been counted correctly and that a majority of the ballots can be accounted for at the end, to the best of your ability.
The above observations of this election has nothing to do with the clerk’s office, the staff, and volunteers by no means. I know you all are about free and fair elections and do everything you can to be transparent and always look to improve things for future elections. You all worked hard and long hours and it did not go unnoticed. Thank you.
I look forward to working with you all in 2024.
Jefferson County Republican Chairman