Teller County commissioners emphasize reliability of Dominion voting machines prior to election – Colorado Springs Gazette

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A Dominion Voting Systems voting machine is seen Sept. 16, 2019, in Atlanta.

Pikes Peak Courier Reporter
A Dominion Voting Systems voting machine is seen Sept. 16, 2019, in Atlanta.
The Teller County Board of County Commissioners rejected a request by four residents to hand count ballots and scrap the county’s Dominion voting machines for the Nov. 8 election.
Tim Northrup repeated his request at the commissioners meeting Oct. 13. Before responding, commission chair Dan Williams remarked that Northrup had appeared before the commissioners “four or five times,” to cast doubt about Dominion.
“I would caution you on the timing of all this,” he said. “I respect you as a person, but we’re on the eve of sending out ballots to 19,000 registered voters, and it’s critical that people have faith and confidence — I do — in the election process.”
Williams requested that Northrup respect the rights of others when it comes to casting their ballots.
“My hope is that, after this election, whoever doesn’t win has the grace to stand up and admit defeat,” Williams said, adding that his fear is the loss of democracy when those who lose refuse to concede. “That’s my real fear. So, a little caution on the timing of all this.”
Deputy Clerk Stephanie Kees thanked Northrup for giving her the opportunity explain why hand counting yields inaccurate results. For instance, the clerk’s office recently conducted an exercise in hand counting with election judges, Republicans and Democrats. Of 160 ballots hand counted, there were eight mistakes. “It was human error,” she said, adding that there will be 40 questions on the November ballot.
Commissioner Erik Stone noted that 40 times 19,000 ballots equal 760,000 responses to count. “I have confidence in the technology of the Dominion machines,” he said.
Stone added that the federal government does not run elections. “Elections happen in states and in those states, elections are run by the counties,” he said.
Unconvinced, Northrup expressed concern over possible programming errors in the machines.
Echoing Northrup, Barbara Herman cited a Rasmussen poll reporting that most Americans don’t trust election results. (Fact check: the poll reports that 55% of registered voters suspect cheating in the 2020 election.)
“When it comes to voting, it’s the human being I’m worried about, the prejudiced, the person who’s got the power instead of service to others,” Williams said. “We need the machine, the computer, to help.”
As Williams encouraged the residents to focus on education, commissioner Bob Campbell added that acquiring knowledge means selecting reliable news sources. “You mentioned that you are bombarded by news and all these things you’ve heard,” he said to Herman. “Don’t assume that everything is factual.”
Kitten Walker said if the commissioners don’t agree to a hand count, they are not doing what the people in the room have asked — that is, to ensure the integrity of elections. “You trust the process, but not everyone does,” Walker said.
Stone responded that the commissioners do not have the authority to tell the county clerk how to run elections.
The election systems in the county as well as the nation are prepared and ready to go, with people trained to run elections, Williams said. “We all have our opinions, but we have to make sure we don’t disenfranchise voters; right now, the unaffiliated don’t read the Blue Book, don’t believe in voting, have lost confidence no matter what we do — hand counting or machine,” Williams said. “They’re walking away from this whole process.”
In the Colorado primary in June, candidates who doubted the results of 2020 were not elected, Williams said, adding that the exception was Heidi Ganahl, the Republican running for governor.
In his turn at the podium, Bill Sgarlata said he had come to the meeting to protest the Dominion machines but, after listening to the commissioners, changed his mind. Yet Sgarlata, like the others, asked for a hand count.
Stone replied, “Dominion is the best machine out there.”
In other business, Williams reported that the recent fundraiser for AMC West (Aspen Mine Center), to date, has generated $40,000 in donations. As well, the Light of Hope Teller breakfast for CASA of the Pikes Peak Region brought in $32,860, he said.
Pikes Peak Courier Reporter
Pikes Peak Courier Reporter
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