Here’s the bombshell press release from Pueblo county GOP chairwoman Becky Mizel as forwarded to us:
The Pueblo County Republican Party with support of members of the Constitution Party and Democrat Party requested a recount on December 5th, 2012, due to the following areas of concern:
- Critical election anomalies were observed in at least 25 precincts. Based on data posted on the Secretary of State’s web site identifying voter turn-out by Precinct and a report provided by Pueblo County Clerk’s office on active Mail in Ballots that were compared and found to have potential voter turnout to exceed 100% of the registered voters. It was verified by phone with both the Secretary of State and the Pueblo County Clerk’s office that this could not have occurred due to provisional ballots replacing mail in ballots. A sample of these precincts is attached. In attempt to further cross check these results, audit calls were made to these precincts, at least 6 voters in one precinct stated they had not voted which substantiated that the election results should be recounted.
- Election data provided later differed from the canvassing board summary created by the Pueblo County Clerk’s office.
- It was observed and reported to the County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz groups and individuals were observed picking up more than 10 mail-in ballots and delivering them to the County Clerk’s office. PCRP registered a complaint due to potential voter fraud. Mr. Ortiz stated he was aware this had occurred, to remedy this situation if a person delivered over 10 ballots he was having the individuals sign in on a sheet located at the election department. At the time of canvassing the Republican canvassing member asked to receive these lists of persons delivering more than 10 ballots. The Democrat canvass member stated, “This list is under investigation, so you may not have access to the lists”. No such investigation has been reported to the Secretary of State’s office to date nor is any record of the investigation available by the Pueblo County District Attorney.
- The integrity of the chain of custody of main in ballots was not preserved. Mail- in ballots were seen being carried into Democrat headquarters. Ballots were being collected by door knocking. Two judges were not present at all times at drop off locations for mail in ballots. No system was in lace to detect if one individual dropped off more than 10 mails- in ballots over the course of the election.
- It is the expectation the election department has limited access of individuals and security measures to protect voting machines, ballots and ballot processing. Mr. Ortiz gave the candidates a tour of the election department stating only limited personnel had access to keys to the election department. When various people were observed entering the election department after hours and through varying entrances that are not under video surveillance Mr. Ortiz later stated “All personnel have keys and access to the department”. During early voting, lights were observed on in the election department after hours of operation as late as 9:00PM to 11:00 PM at night with people inside the department to include cleaning crews file storage boxes were also seen leaving the department after hours. Upon inquiry of this breach of security, the county attorney’s office sent written notification housekeeping personnel were not allowed in the election department, Mr. Ortiz stated his staff cleaned the election office. Upon observation of the video surveillance cameras unsupervised cleaning crews were inside of the election department after working hours on at least two occasions. Furthermore, areas of the election department are not under camera surveillance to include a storage area where voting cartridges are stored. These oversights compromise the integrity and confidence of the voting public no matter what party affiliation.
- Once a candidate is elected is our belief that they represent equally all the people. In the spirit of cooperation, Mr. Ortiz was put on notice on 11/21/12 that we planned to ask for a recount of the election so that he was not caught off guard. It is our belief that it was as beneficial to the County Clerk as it was to our candidates to conduct a recount given the questions. A great deal of research was done to attempt to determine what the cost would be as no guidance or help was provided from the County Clerk. The result was a $6,000-$8,000 price. We were prepared for it to be double that cost. The price to us was $29, 385. We checked the validity of this price through various sources and were told this price was not appropriate. PCRP filed the final recount request on 12/5.12Mr. Ortiz then informed us at 7:00 PM that we needed to have the money to his office at 5:00 PM on the 6th. Mr. Ortiz had known for two weeks that we planned to ask for a recount but found no need to give us any guidance on how we make this happen and represent all the people of Pueblo County.
- These areas and other factors such as difficulties with poll watcher access prompted a recount request. These actions serve to disenfranchise election transparency and accountability by making fees for a recount unrealistic. A report of other county recount costs is attached as is a sample of the data that we sought to clarify.
According to a sampling of precincts, there is a major discrepancy in voter turnout (when non-voters are counted it goes well over 100%), which should be enough to raise eyebrows with the Colorado Secretary of State.
From my own personal investigation into the matter and speaking with several witnesses (who will gladly testify under oath, but fear reprisal if this investigation doesn’t take hold) they saw people loading mail-in ballots into cars and trucks at all hours of the night in the days prior to the election.
Worse, the people doing the “dirty deeds” were not even election officials, but complete unknowns that gladly flaunted the presence of security cameras.
Democrat Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz has clearly showed a lax standard for ballot chain of custody and we’d love him to answer for it (again, we’ve gone after Republicans for the same scandals in the past).
We here at Hammer of Truth would love to see a formal inquiry launched into the matter. And to again be clear: if it were Republicans doing such dirty deeds, we’d be just as interested in a full investigation.
Becky Mizel, the Pueblo County GOP Chairwoman has being adamant that they aren’t trying to overturn the outcome (and indeed has conceded that Obama remains the president no matter the outcome here), but is seeking to ensure that there are elections free of impropriety now and in the future. She’s also claiming that a recount request was improperly handled, causing the GOP to miss the deadline.
[A full list of attached documents have been uploaded to Scribd as one file: The Pueblo County Attorney's Office response for requested video tapes, a sampling of precincts showing OVER 100% TURNOUT (ye gads), and the cost of a full recount as requested by the Pueblo County GOP.]