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Mesa County’s steps to affirm voters’ confidence in election outcomes

Those steps include conducting a hand count of the ballots cast in the Nov. 2 election, among other procedures
The Mesa County Elections Office located in Grand Junction, Colo.
The Mesa County Elections Office located in Grand Junction, Colo.(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 8:46 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Mesa County is taking steps officials say verify the accuracy of this past November’s election, seeking to affirm voters’ confidence in election outcomes. Those steps include conducting a hand count of the ballots cast in the Nov. 2 election, among other procedures.

The hand count of those ballots concluded on Friday.

David Levine, Elections Integrity Fellow with the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington, D.C., is arguing the county is right to take extra steps to restore voter’s confidence in election integrity.

“This hand count should be another blow to those who have for months baselessly claimed that there was a rigged election in Mesa County and in Colorado, and attacked election officials and others for not overturning the results,” explained Levine.

Sheila Reiner, Mesa Co. Treasurer and Election Supervisor in the 2021 November election, explained that the county’s election has already been certified by the Colorado Secretary of State, but additional steps including the hand count, auditing results using Clear Audit systems, and posting ballot images online serve to address public concern over election integrity.

According to Reiner, “We’re being transparent about it throughout the entire process, and, essentially, just going the extra mile to ensure that we have integrity in our election system.” She said she expects the Clear Audit of the county’s ballots to take place in January.

Levine is asserting the county’s steps to verify the election results, in addition to state-wide procedures like using voting machines alongside risk-limiting audits, should make voters confident in election outcomes. Risk-limiting audits count a statistically-significant number of paper ballots to compare to machine counts, thus indicating whether the machine’s numbers are accurate or not.

The fellow with the Alliance for Securing Democracy shared that, “I’m hopeful that others... within Colorado but also across the country can look to Mesa County as an example of what to do to not only ensure that their electoral infrastructure’s strong, but also, for how to try and build greater resilience into American democracy.”

Levine is also encouraging anyone with questions about election security to reach out to officials for more information. He also pointed towards observing elections and volunteering at the elections office during polling as ways to get more involved in the process.

Reiner further explained that she wants voters to know the demonstrated accuracy of the Dominion Voting machines in this past election applies to past elections as well.

For more information about elections in Mesa Co., click here.

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