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April 4th, 2023 Election
Democracy-at-risk

Plagued with Chain of Custody Flaws, Dubious Practices & Uncooperative City Administration, Colorado Springs candidates and voters demand answers.

Don't take our word, 

download the ballot transit logs from the City, and you be the judge:

Download the X additional

Transit Logs the City failed to provide in the first CORA request here.

To see the initial summary, you can click here.

11/15/2023:  City posts results of their "investigation".  Just as we methodically researched initial election results, we will respond, in full, to each and every disturbing response.  We can tell you that our page already provides evidence that is in direct conflict of the claims.  For example, the response that there is no evidence that the transit seals were not used is presented in just two (there are more) videos posted below.  

Update:  The City claims they did not provide all of the transit logs in the initial CORA request.  Below, we have updated the serious irregularities which need to be investigated.  We should start by saying that there have been questions raised about elections from both sides of the aisle for decades now.  Rather than speculate, we are using City-provided data, their own security camera video footage and documents (i.e. ballot transit logs) that are owned by and available to the public. We do recognize that, especially with mail-in and drop-box ballot voting, there are serious challenges to ensuring election integrity and avoiding fraud in our elections.  Because we have powerful business interests who are shameless in the lengths to which they will take to buy our leadership, and because we were privy to polling data that dramatically contradicted the 4/4/2023 outcome (namely, two opposing groups' polls that reported the same low response for Wayne Williams putting him at 9% with a 52% unfavorable rating), we felt it was our duty to do a deep dive into the data.  What we have found, thus far, is extremely alarming.  

Daily Returns Analysis by District

The first giant red flag was seeing voter turnout jumps like 61.18% in district 6 as compared to the 2021 election.  We, initially, thought this was due to population growth, but then looked at 2019 and saw that the turnout was higher than 2021.  Coupled with the fact that the electorate sharply grew by 43,218 from 2019 to 2021 and only 973 from 2021 to 2023, we were troubled.  In addition, 48.65% of the votes came in the last two days of the April 4, 2023 election, when, historically, the last two days produced 34% and 38% in 2021 and 2019 respectively.  

 

City Denies Data Requests & Stalls

Concerned, we immediately began asking our City Clerk for data, and the City's denials and stalling worsened our concerns.  This is OUR data.  We fund these elections, and it should all be immediately handed-over, free of charge (we already pay for it) whenever any registered voter asks to see it.  For those curious, you can see the email exchanges showing how difficult this process has been here.  Even at-large candidate, Kat Gayle, who has joined Integrity Matters as Chief Legal Counsel and, as a candidate, has legal standing to see the return ballot envelopes is being ignored.  This is wrong and needs to be fixed.

What we have learned so far.  Buckle-up, it is pretty horrifying.

Deceased people voting? 

When we finally got the database of voters from another entity (the city took 3 weeks to finally respond to our request for data which is immediately e-mailable after each day of voting), we were curious to see if there were any dead voters.  So, we did a very cursory  look (i.e. we are concerned there are more, and, when we have time, we will go look more exhaustively), and found two people who voted after they were deceased.  This prompted us to ask for the signature settings and audits of the ESS MBV1000 ballot envelope machines used as their signatures would have been approved by the two ballot envelope scanning machines used to verify signatures.  Though we have been yet unable to get audit reports for those machines or inspect the ballot return envelopes, we understood that, for this to occur, those settings had to be low.  Sure enough, we were just recently informed that the sensitivity setting is 25 on a scale of 0-99 though the City says the scale isn't linear or a percent trying to minimize the low setting used.  It must mean something to set it at 25 on that scale, and we believe it's a very low sensitivity setting which should be further investigated.  Otherwise, if one had access to, for example, printing ballots (which they do on-demand now) or access to, for example, blank ballots to be printed surreptitiously (i.e. if one were a paid consultant, for example, to the election company, then having those signature sensitivity settings low would enable fake signatures to be easily approved.)  Whether that did or did not occur is superfluous to the point that it should never be so easy to do, under any circumstances. 

Two individuals, so far, who appear to have not been able to vote are:

1.  Virginia Ruth Newman:  Ms. Newman's obituary shows her as passing on March 4th, 2023, before the ballots were mailed on March 10th.  The 4/4/2023 Voter Returns Database show with the same voter ID and address as the 1/6/2023 County Voter Database.

2.  Jennifer Lynn Scott:  Ms. Scott's obituary shows her as passing on February 25th, 2023, before the ballots were mailed on March 10th.  Her obituary identifies her husband as David who is also listed at the same address in the 4/4/2023 Voter Returns Database which matches the voter ID and address of the 1/6/2023 County Voter Registration Database.

 

The low signature setting sensitivity of 25 suggests other illegally cast votes could exist, and the City Clerk's Office failed to prevent them from being cast.

26,400 Voters Who Never Voted in a City Election Going Back to 2011?

One of the analyses of the Returned Ballot Database showed that 26,400 of the total 109,768 votes were from voters who had never voted in a municipal election going back to 2011.  Nearly 1/4th of all votes cast, were from this "first-time-city-election voter".  It's a jaw-dropping stat.  We wondered if maybe it was because Yemi Mobolade turned-out a youth vote.  So, we calculated the mean age which was 46.5 years.  Only 5% of these first-time-city-election voters are 30 years of age or younger.  So, it wasn't a "youth turn-out".  We have serious concerns about this stat.  The service we were using to enable easy search of the voter database expired.  We are looking for a replacement; in the interim, feel free to email us your name, and we will look up your name to see if you voted and isn't there; or, more importantly, if you didn't vote, and it is there: integritymatterscos@gmail.com.

Chain of Custody & the Ballot Transit logs:  with the updated transit logs, we now have 397 votes for which there are no transit logs and even worse problems.

Because the City was so late in responding to our requests for data, it took a team of people to analyze what we have been able to do so far.  We will continue to request data, and strongly encourage citizens and the media to do the same, to correct these copious errors and demand swift action so we never have another municipal election so, at best, carelessly, at worst, nefariously conducted.  In this analysis, we looked at every single transit log and entered the information as it was presented here.  We also conducted pivot table analyses comparing the ballot log data to the City Clerk's own reported totals. 

 

A quick primer on the chain of custody of the ballots:  the chain of custody of ballots is supposed to have two people, typically of differing political parties in November county elections, who take oaths to be "transit judges" to count, document and tightly control the transport of the ballots from the drop-boxes to the City Clerk, where per page 6 of the 2023 Mail Ballot Manual, two City Office Services EMPLOYEES (titled "City Clerk's Signature" on the Ballot Log transmittal form) are to sign for receipt of those ballots from the 2-person transit judge team.  The public pays for the ballot boxes to be videotaped 24/7.  We were able to get copies of the Centennial (Vermejo & Cascade) boxes and the City Administration Building (CAB) which we viewed also for additional insight. 

 

Below is a summary of the problems with the transit logs we have been able to identify thus far:

  • Over the span of the voting period, 397 votes have no transit logs.  309 ballots that have no location for a net of 88 ballots, at a minimum, now that are reported without any possible transit log.  Given the egregiously unprofessional, at best, transit logs and chain of custody, citizens can have no confidence in this process.

  • Slumbering ballots: 

    • 1,199 ballots collected from 15 drop-boxes on 3/13/2023 were not logged into the clerk's office until the following day, 3/14.

    • 17 ballots collected on 3/29/2023 from the UCCS drop-box were not logged into the clerk's office until the following day, 3/30 on the log.  The City Clerk reports a total of 0 ballots on 3/29 at that location.  

Click on any of the ballot transit logs below for a larger image:

  • Every single transit log had an error be it missing a date, time, illegible signature, no transit seal number, etc.

  • 99.6% (764 of the 767) transit logs had illegible signatures making it impossible to transparently track the chain of custody

  • The ballot drop-box location was unclear on 7 of the 767 logs representing 309 votes.

  • 110 of the 767 transit logs accounting for 12,271 votes were missing signatures

  • Transit judges signing for the City Clerk receiving the ballots on 371 of the 767 pick-ups representing 37,138 votes.

  • Summary of discrepancies between City Clerk reported totals and the ballot logs supplied by the city:

    • ​3/14, CAB, 96 votes reported, 47 votes in logs
    • 3/29, Bear Creek, 149 votes reported, 22 votes in logs

    • 3/14 Broadmoor Town Center, 83 votes reported, 56 votes in logs

    • 3/29, Chuck Brown Transportation Complex, 54 votes reported, 35 votes in logs

    • 3/14, Citadel Mall North, 26 votes reported, 36 votes in logs

    • 3/14, Senior Center, 51 votes reported, 61 votes in logs

    • 3/31, Citizen Service Center, 427 votes reported, 477 votes in logs

    • 3/29, Centennial Hall, 189 votes reported, 239 votes in logs

    • 3/14, Centennial Hall, 73 votes reported, 72 votes in logs

    • 3/14, Union Town Center, 94 votes reported, 114 votes in logs

    • 3/14, Powers DMV, 147 votes reported, 130 votes in logs

    • 3/27, Union Town Center, 440 votes reported, 585 votes in logs

    • 3/29, Union Town Center, 237 votes reported, 322 votes in logs

    • 3/27, Powers DMV, 390 votes reported, 245 votes in logs

    • 3/29, Powers DMV, 220 votes reported, 135 votes in logs

    • 3/14, Leon Young Sports Complex, 24 votes reported, 10 votes in logs

    • 3/14, PPSC Centennial, 11 votes reported, 6 votes in logs

    • 3/30, PPSC Centennial, 24 votes reported, 17 votes in logs

    • 3/14, PPSC Rampart Range, 19 votes reported, 8 votes in logs

    • 3/14, Tiffany Square, 20 votes reported, 40 votes in logs

    • 3/31, Tiffany Square, 129 votes reported, 54 votes in logs

    • 3/29, UCCS Library, 0 votes reported, 17 votes in logs

    • 3/30, UCCS Library, 40 votes reported, 23 votes in logs

    • 3/31, UCCS Library, 41 votes reported, 36 votes in logs

    • 4/4, Centennial Hall (both), 2918 votes reported, 3018 votes in logs

    • 4/4, PPSC Centennial, 583 votes reported, 246 votes in logs

    • 4/4, PPSC [Unclear], 0 votes reported, 98 votes in logs

What we have learned thus far from our examination of the ballot drop-box video from the City Administration Building (CAB) and Centennial Hall - Vermejo/Centennial Hall - Cascade ballot drop-boxes (we had to pay about $1,000 and have spent now more than a month analyzing this data):

  • Election fraud?:  We suspect there are many others instances of where the ballot box video contradicts the logs, but we have not been able to get the video for the other drop-boxes for review which has, in and of itself, been a troubling misinformation and delay effort.  For the CAB, there were many pick-ups for which the City provided no transit logs.  For example, on 4/4/2023, the last day of voting, the CORA requested security camera video at the City Administration there were two Ballot Box Closers Transit Logs.   A transit log for the CAB (below) claims 387 ballots were collected which appears to be a falsified document.  The CAB video for the outside and inside ballot boxes disproves this claim.  Election Night Judges removed 336 ballots from the outside drop box and there is a box closer transmittal log at 7:01 PM. That box was then closed for the election.  The security surveillance camera inside the Clerk's Office shows that this drop box was opened at 12:34 PM.  It was resealed and was not opened again until 7:34 PM per the video surveillance footage (though the log claimed an open time of 7:44 PM).  There was no pick up at 7:06 or near that time.   The same is true for the inside box which the transit log shows as being picked up at 7:06.  Jana Blosser and illegible opened and removed ballots at 7:34 PM - 7:44 PM.   Jana Blosser and Illegible were not able to use the Box Closer Transit log because it was used for the 387 that came out of thin air.  No blue box was used at either drop box.  Where did these ballots originate?

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CAB Closing Log for Outside Box, 336 ballots, 7:01 PM (PM inferred as not written or corrected by clerk).

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CAB Transit Log, 7:06 PM (again inferred), 387 votes.  The silver ballot box was not opened at or near that time.  See time in accelerated video below.

CAB Transit Log, for CAB inside silver ballot box showing the last time it was opened prior to the 7:06 PM claim.

CAB Inside Ballot Box (the silver box to the left) showing it was not opened at 7:06 PM as  for 336 ballots as the above transit log claims.  We anticipate more of these alarming problems in other videos of the remaining ballot boxes.

  • Video footage missing at  the time the ballot transit judges are supposed to be collecting ballots.  For example, on 3/17/2023,  at Centennial Hall - Vermejo, the ballot transit judges are supposed to be collecting at 10:08am, yet the footage is missing from 9:53am-10:19am.  

  • The transit seal system and tubs used appear to be woefully lacking.  On 4/4 at the Centennial Hall - Vermejo location, judges struggle with transit seals with one side being put in place, but the lid clearly lifting, and they ultimately leave without putting the transit seals in place, and at the Centennial Hall - Cascade box, in addition to 72 ballots being delivered by individual judges who go off camera to retrieve ballots presumably from cars, we think, leaving only one transit judge at the actual ballot box counting, no yellow-orange transit seal is placed on that transport tub either.

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Centennial Hall - Cascade Drop-box.  No yellow-orange transit seal.

  • We have been unable to view the other drop-boxes, but we have been given reports from concerned voters that posted on Nextdoor that single City employees in city trucks were collecting ballots from drop-boxes which would violate state statute.  

  • 53% of the election night transit judges are the who-is-who of the Suthers senior administration with many of the top fire officials including husband and wife team, Fire Chief Randy Royal and his wife.  We find this especially troubling given how boldly Mayor Suthers was seen in commercials for Wayne Williams along with Williams' commercial being filmed at the fire training facilities which other candidates were denied usage of, and we objected to formally filing a complaint with the City.  Also, the City has falsely stated that no City resources were used in filming Wayne Williams' commercial.  We have an email and recording in which Fire leadership stated that Williams was provided a safety officer whose salary is paid for by the City not to mention the use of the actual facilities which we still believe is using City resources.

 

Lastly, we were unaware that the City was using the Runbeck ballot system and their executives.  Did you see this news announcement?  We didn't.  As a reminder, in April of 2022, then Councilmember Wayne Williams who was (still is?) a paid consultant to Runbeck proposed a controversial closed-bid $850,000 contract to the El Paso County Commissioners of which his wife was one and had to recuse herself due to the conflict-of-interest amidst uproar.  We find this all the more troubling, and this is a great reason why one doesn't make such ethically dubious choices.  Can you imagine the US allowing the Russian Olympic coach to supply all the judging forms in a closed-bid contract for a company they were consulting for gymnastics competitions?  It would never happen -- for good reason.

Its is clear that a thorough investigation which includes examination of the ballot return envelopes which the City is denying.  In fact at-large candidate Kat Gayle, our chief legal counsel, asked to examine the ballot return envelopes and was denied by the City Attorney.   The media should report to the public so they understand how grave the situation is and action will be taken to, at a minimum correct this.  Major reform and greater care are needed to ensure we have elections with integrity.  We love the convenience of mail-in & drop-box voting, but not the way this was handled.  We encourage the media and anyone else to do you own investigation.  With a signature sensitivity setting of 25 (we still have not gotten answers regarding this clearly low setting) and two deceased voters, we clearly have compromised data and processes.  Junior High Student Council elections have more integrity and care taken.  Electing leaders is our most sacred right as Americans, and we should insist that basic changes like:

 

  • pre-printing the ballot transit logs with a consistent name for every box pick-up as well as legible names of the transit judges be on every form

  • dates and times are properly recorded

  • transit seals work and are used 

  • electors have free, immediate access to video footage of the ballot drop boxes

  • electors have free, immediate access to the voter database and TIFF Image files as they the scans are completed

  • candidates are not allowed to be paid consultants to any vendor involved in an election

just to name a few easy reforms that will ensure integrity in the mail-in, drop-box voting system.

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