COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Voters will have a decision to make when picking which candidates make it from the June 28 primary to the Nov. 8 general election.
Do they want conservative Republicans or conservative Republicans who support election conspiracy theories?
At Saturday's Colorado Republican State Assembly, more than 4,000 Republican delegates will also have a decision to make: Whether or not to support a resolution saying that the party "requires integrity in elections."
There are 15 resolutions delegates will vote on as the party decides what its platform will be.
- The Rights of the Individual Include the Right to Life
- We Require Integrity in Elections
- Parental Rights Must be Respected in Education
- We Will Preserve Medical and Health Freedom
- Fentanyl Possession Should Be a Felony
- American Energy Independence is Vital
- We Must Limit the Governor’s Emergency Powers
- Limit Government Overreach
- The Scope of State Government Needs to Be Held in Restraint
- Property Tax Must Be Capped
- The Right of Citizens to Be Free of Crime
- Upholding the Second Amendment
- Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bills of Rights (TABOR) Keeps the State Strong
- No Country is Sovereign Without a Secure Border
- Free Markets and Property Rights are Best for People
It is that second resolution that could be problematic for Republican candidates.
The text of the resolution is:
Whereas over the last 6 election cycles the people of Colorado, on both sides of the aisle, continue to mistrust the accuracy of election results and whereas elections exist to give these same people a republican government they choose through democratic means that can be held accountable at the ballot box, and whereas illegally cast votes directly cancel out legally cast votes, Be It Resolved that the Colorado Republican Party supports each eligible voter actively registering to vote, ending automatic voter registration, and insists on the cleaning of county voter rolls so that only qualified voters receive ballots who then are required to show state issued ID when voting in person. The Colorado Republican Party also supports locally controlled elections following the rule of law with verifiable counts and processes; rejects Secretary of State administrative rules used inconsistently in opposition to state law and changed in the midst of an election; opposes the use of private funds to assist in the administration of elections; calls for the development of a plan to hold elections during emergencies; and requests forensic audits of election machines and the maintaining of backup images of each hard drive in the voting system on an external hard drive, kept safe for the statutory 25 months or until the completion of all audits
"All it's going to do is give Democratic campaigns and candidates something to create headaches for Republican candidates come this fall," said David Flaherty.
Flaherty runs Magellan Strategies, a conservative-leaning polling firm based in Louisville.
His polling shows a split in the Republican Party.
"About half of them would prefer to have a candidate or support a candidate who believes the election fraud does exist in Colorado," said Flaherty "The other half, it is not much of a concern among primary voters."
Getting through the June 28 primary may require a different tap dance on this issue than the general election in November.
"I think you do everything you can, not having to even mention the issue and avoid it, so that there's nothing there," said Flaherty. "If I was a Republican candidate, I would try to downplay it and avoid it in all forms as much as possible."
"I don't support that," said Matt Crane, Executive Director of the Colorado County Clerks Association.
Crane, the former Republican Arapahoe County Clerk took issue with the last section calling for forensic audits of election machines. Saying that independent audit of the Arizona 2020 election is not something to be modeled after.
"Anybody who says that was a good exercise for an election audit is either lying or they've been lied to by somebody else because what happened there, actually, hurt election integrity," said Crane.
He will be one of the delegates voting at the state assembly on Saturday. He said voting no on that election integrity resolution does not make him a RINO - Republican In Name Only.
"If they don’t vote straight down 'yes' with everything that's on that resolution ballot, it doesn't mean they're a RINO, it doesn't mean they're any less of a Republican. It just means there's a difference of opinion," said Crane. "The Republican Party used to be the party that prided itself on truth, doing the right thing and following the law. The people that are pushing that narrative about stolen elections and what happened in Mesa County, they're not following the law, they're not following the truth and they're purposefully misleading people. That's not who we are as Republicans."
When asked about the resolution on election integrity, Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown said that she wanted the focus this weekend to be on the candidates being selected for the ballot.
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