Republicans and a vote monitor in Boulder County, Colorado, filed a lawsuit Monday claiming a county clerk and recorder refused to comply with election law by denying transparency requirements.
According to the suit, Boulder County clerk and recorder Hillary Hall did not allow access while mail-in ballots were counted.
Republicans claim Hall only allowed the count to be observed for a few seconds and denied monitors “sufficient time and access to take even the most basic steps to determine whether a signature should be verified or to lodge a challenge as is their right.”
[ad]“We’ve made significant changes to the way we conduct elections in Colorado, and as a result, it’s more important than ever that poll watchers have access and the ability to do their statutorily designed job,” Ryan Call, the state chairman for the Colorado Republican party, told the National Review. “Hillary Hall really stands apart from every other county clerk in the state in refusing to give meaningful access for Republican poll watchers to do their job, and it’s unfortunate that we’ve had to resort to legal action to compel the clerk to let our watchers in.”
“Clerk Hall’s refusal to allow Republican watchers to observe the signature verification process is not only illegal, but it may undermine confidence that our election is being conducted with integrity,” Call said.
Hall and Democrats argue the law does not allow poll watchers the right to question voter signatures and say Republicans are attempting to suppress voter turnout.
“This is partisan politics, people who don’t like mail ballots trying to discredit them,” Hall told FOX31 Denver on Monday afternoon. “The law provides that election judges verify voter signatures, not poll watchers. If they want the right to verify signatures, they should go ask the state legislature.”
District Judge Patrick Butler ruled against Republicans soon after the suit was filed.
“While it is not possible to seek an appeal in the time remaining before Election Day, it is our hope that in the future the Colorado Secretary of State or the legislature can better enforce the rules to ensure the access necessary so poll watchers can fulfill their important role in monitoring elections,” Call said in a statement following the decision. “Our Party is absolutely committed to the integrity of our elections, and will continue to work to ensure that every legal vote is fairly and accurately counted.”