MESA COUNTY, Colo. — Mesa County's November 2021 election results are accurate.
Two audits confirmed that the ballots, which were run through the county's new Dominion voting machines, were counted correctly.
Mesa County had to buy new Dominion machines because of the security breach by embattled Republican Clerk Tina Peters.
The Mesa County Commissioners called for three ways to audit the 2021 election:
- Hand count
- Ballot count through Clear Ballot voting machines
- Ballot images posted online
The county conducted a hand count in December and just got the results back from having Clear Ballot, Dominion's competitor, run the same ballots.
"The forensic audit showed that the Dominion system counted accurately. The hand count showed that the Dominion system counted accurately. And now the Clear Ballot tabulation showed that the Dominion system tabulated accurately," said Mesa County's 2021 Designated Election Official Wayne Williams.
Williams, the former Republican Secretary of State, oversaw the election instead of Peters.
He also oversaw the audit.
The biggest discrepancy between the recounts were in one race -- Proposition 120. Clear Ballot counted four votes differently. The hand count counted nine votes differently than the Dominion machines and 13 votes differently than the Clear Ballot machines.
"Hand counting has human error in it. A hand count is less accurate than a machine count and that was certainly the case when we did the hand count in Mesa County," said Williams. "There were times that we would go back and have a different team hand count the same ballots and they would come up with a different result that required us then to take a look at it more closely."
At the Colorado State Capitol, there is a bill by State Rep. Ron Hanks, R-Penrose, who is also running for U.S. Senate, that would require Colorado elections to be counted by hand, with results completed within 24 hours of polls closing.
"It is impossible to hand count elections in a large jurisdiction and have results known the next day," said Williams. "There does not need to be a drastic change to how Colorado conducts elections. There are certainly improvements that can and should be made. To the extent there are issues, they are not on the tabulation side, they are on the process side."
His concerns with the process of elections deal with when voters should be taken off the voter roll and not automatically sent a ballot. He also supports an idea to require courts to notify the secretary of state's office is someone replies to a jury summons as a non-citizen.
The Clear Ballot audit cost Mesa County $23,165. The hand count was close to $80,000.