Thursday, October 21, 2004

County Republicans file complaint with SOS

Boulder County Republicans filed the following complaint with Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson.


Boulder County Republican Party
Designated Election Representative
2867 Tincup Circle
Boulder, CO 80305

October 20, 2004

Ms. Donetta Davidson BY FAX: 303-869-4861
Secretary of State
1560 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202

REF: Boulder County - Instructions to political parties – October 9, 2004
Boulder County - Logic & Accuracy Test instructions – October 9, 2004
Boulder County - Canvass instructions –October 9, 2004
Boulder County Republicans - Response to Salas – October 10, 2004
Boulder County Republicans - Test objectives – October 20, 2004
Logic & Accuracy Test - part1 – October 20, 2004

Dear Secretary Davidson:

This is a formal complaint regarding the conduct of today’s Logic & Accuracy Test – part1.

Because the next stage of this Logic and Accuracy Test is scheduled for Friday, October 22nd, we request immediate and independent investigation of this complaint. For your information, there were two non-Republican poll watcher witnesses to today’s activities.

The Boulder County Republican Party and the Boulder County Clerk & Recorder fundamentally disagree on the meaning of:

CRS 1-7-506. Electronic vote-counting – test.

(1) (a) The designated election official shall have the electronic vote-counting equipment tested at each counting center in the manner prescribed in this section to ascertain that it will accurately count the votes cast for all offices and ballot issues. (Emphasis added).

This disagreement has made it impossible for the Boulder County Republican Party to comply with its duty under that same section:

(2) The designated election official shall give to the county chairpersons of the major political parties or their official representatives and to the county chairperson or official representative of any minor political party who notifies the designated election official no less than sixty days before the election of the party's desire to participate in the testing, at least twenty-five official ballots that are clearly marked as test ballots. The county chairpersons or their official representatives shall secretly vote the test ballots and retain a record of the test votes. (Emphasis added).

For several months, the Boulder County Republican Party has attempted, in good faith, to engage the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder, Linda Salas, in a meaningful negotiation of Logic & Accuracy testing procedures. The clerk has not responded to our many, many attempts to develop mutually agreeable testing procedures. The Republican’s most recent attempts to communicate with the clerk are summarized in the October 10th and October 20th items referenced above.

Instead of discussing the issues with us, the clerk has unilaterally dictated unreasonable restrictions on the political parties and has turned the Logic & Accuracy Test into a pending hoax. The consequence of this hoax will be total loss of public trust in the general election results. The clerk’s directives are documented in the three October 9th items referenced above.

Proceeding under the clerk’s directive will serve no purpose, other than provide the clerk a document which could be used to communicate the false public assurance that the vote counting system has been verified by the political parties and is trustworthy.

Nothing is further from the truth. Under the procedures mandated by the clerk, this test procedure will not verify the ability of the vote counting system to correctly count votes. Furthermore, the procedure will create documentation which can be used to perpetrate a massive public deception, and humiliate the Boulder County Republican Party.

For example, of 228 precincts, the Republicans were permitted to test only 15. Of 57 ballot styles, Republicans were permitted to test only 15. At least one ballot style includes five ballot-faces, and Republicans were not permitted to test any ballot with five ballot faces. [These facts are relevant because Boulder County printed and distributed sample ballots that contained the wrong candidates for the U. S. 4th Congressional race, demonstrating that errors in fact do happen with this system.]

By working within the clerk’s mandated procedures, instead of our test development tools (which we were prohibited from using), we made several errors in creating our test. We did not document the number of over and under votes by contest by precinct by voting method. We did not distinguish between “voter intent” and “vote counting experiment expected outcome”. We did not summarize votes by contestant by precinct by voting method, as are reflected in the results of the election. While not explicitly required by the law, these data are required to verify the accurate count of votes. The clerk denied our request for photocopies of the voted test ballots.

We have documented evidence that the Boulder County vote counting system tested by the primary election Logic & Accuracy Test was not the same as the vote counting system used to count the live votes. Votes are interpreted differently by the real system and this fact is hidden from test personnel by the clerk’s procedure.

The vote counting system does not comply with Rule 27 - Rules Concerning Uniform Ballot Counting Standards.

We can find no legal basis, and no professional basis, for the procedures dictated by the clerk. In fact, we believe the procedures do not comply with the law and know that the procedures violate professional testing standards. We believe that the procedures will guarantee creation and execution of phony tests that are totally inadequate to ascertain that [the voting system] will accurately count the votes cast for all offices and ballot issues. [CRS 1-7-506]

If the Republican Party does not comply with the clerk’s unilateral dictates, the Republican Party will not be permitted to perform its legally mandated public oversight responsibility. [CRS 1-7-506] Furthermore, the clerk has demonstrated a propensity to demagogue such a refusal by the Party, and to intimidate the Party and their representatives by calling upon the County Sheriff and the District Attorney. The only way for the Republican Party to participate in the test is for the Republican Party to agree to engage in this repugnant public deception.

The clerk is abusing her position of public trust by refusing to permit effective oversight of the vote counting system, and as a consequence the clerk is interfering with the conduct of this election.

The clerk is forcing the Republican Party to choose between (1) aiding the clerk to perpetuate a hoax upon the public, and (2) withdrawing from performing the Party’s legally mandated election oversight responsibility.

In addition to the above, the clerk authorized a Libertarian Party candidate to mark test ballots. Since candidates may not serve as watchers, we question the suitability of a candidate to mark test ballots. Also, Green Party representatives were denied their request to mark test ballots. [The Republican Party permitted the Green Party representatives to suggest a few tests which the Republican Representative marked onto some Republican test ballots.] Test participants were required to choose between (1) refusing to sign, (2) waiting around with nothing to do for an additional two hours, or (3) committing possible perjury by falsely signing a seal log.

Investigators should be advised that this complaint is associated with four unresolved election complaints:

  1. July 28, 2004 – Multiple items including: non-secret ballot, no poll book, negligence in providing timely data, denial of access to independent oversight
  2. August 27, 2004 – Falsification of canvass report.
  3. September 8, 2004 – Colorado Open Records Request
  4. September 13, 2004 – Decertification of HART InterCivic vote counting equipment.

We depend on your urgent attention to this complaint.


Al Kolwicz
Boulder County Republican Party
Official Election Representative


Linda Salas, Boulder County Clerk & Recorder
David Leeds, Chair, Boulder County Republican Party
Ted Halaby, Chair, Colorado Republican Party
Scott Russell, Political Director, Colorado Republican Party
Senate President, John Andrews, Colorado Senate
Robert J. Corry, Jr., Esq., Law firm of Corry and Fellows, LLP