Editor’s note: This represents the opinion of The Denver Post editorial board, which is separate from the paper’s news operation. Read more endorsements here
The Denver Post editorial board urges Colorado voters to make a change in the Secretary of State’s office and vote for Republican Pam Anderson.
Yes, Anderson is an impressive candidate who has been running elections in Colorado for almost 20 years as a clerk and recorder in Jefferson County, as the head of the state’s county clerk’s association, and as a city clerk in Wheat Ridge. And yes, we find that her election policy is closely aligned with our ideal – voting should be easy, accessible to all with minimal barriers, and secure.
But, her opponent, current Secretary of State Jena Griswold has left us unimpressed with her unwillingness to address problems and issues as they arise and even a reluctance to admit when mistakes have been made, or things could be improved.
Colorado deserves better.
Griswold’s office most recently sent 30,000 mailers to non-citizens in Coloradans urging them to register to vote before the November election, according to Colorado Public Radio which first reported the story. While the risk of any of those ineligible voters actually being able to register and then vote is low – Colorado’s voter registration process would likely catch ineligible residents, and voter rolls are checked against immigration records – the mistake is still regrettable.
And it is a replay of what happened in 2020 when CBS4 Denver reported that a dozen similar mailers had been sent to noncitizens and people who were deceased. Griswold had two years to make certain the list of “eligible but not registered voters” did not include people who were not, in fact, eligible. She failed to do so.
Griswold also failed to address a problem with Colorado’s automatic voter registration process. It took 9News investigating a house in Weld County that had 568 people registered to vote for folks to realize that a commercial driving school was getting dozens of ballots for “voters” who often were only there for training.
Again, no one is saying any of those ballots were cast fraudulently, but having valid ballots floating around does create the opportunity for fraud, and the secretary of state should be at the forefront of building confidence in our voter roles. Additionally, the problem would be an easy legislative fix.
This brings us to a fundamental disagreement we have with Griswold: she is completely dismissive of ours, and anyone else’s valid questions and concerns about election integrity.
Some of her disregard is justified – there is no evidence of widespread or even sparse voter fraud in Colorado, and she has been mercilessly attacked by individuals across the nation who have been convinced by a cult-like organization that the 2020 election was rigged in part by Democratic officials like Griswold. It weighed heavy on us that our endorsement of her opponent might fuel the flames of those individuals who are damaging trust in our free and fair elections.
But we found solace in the fact that Anderson has been working just as hard as Griswold to combat election misinformation. Anderson’s entire career has been spent advocating for and executing free and fair elections.
As a Republican, she has addressed the issue head-on, frequently repeating that there is no basis to claims that Colorado, or any state for that matter, engaged in a massive campaign to defraud the American people of their vote in 2020 or any election.
This was not the politically expedient position for a Republican to take in 2022 if he or she hoped to win the Republican primary, a depressing reality driven home by how many votes Tina Peters – the most militant of all election deniers in Colorado – received in the Republican primary against Anderson.
Yet, Anderson prevailed, and we think her political courage is worthy of reward.
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