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the day the music died – el paso county recount rules change on day four

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Welcome back to the show, readers. All eyes in the nation should be on El Paso County, Colorado, right now. I can barely keep up, and I live 30 minutes away with dozens of sources on the ground. Sorry today’s update is so late, but this took a while for me to unwind and then repack for you. Here’s the latest.

rocky recount

As I shared yesterday, the El Paso County recount of four candidates is doing little to prop up the narrative of “safest and most secure elections in history.” If you missed the illogically inaccurate test or haven’t had a chance to read my take on day one of the El Paso County recount, catch up quickly. It’s starting to get interesting. 

As we first reported on Conservative Daily this morning, Colorado grassroots candidates filed a joint motion to stay the recount, or “Petition for Order Pursuant to C.R.S. 1-10.5-109.” This petition was brought by all eight candidates that originally filed motions to challenge the June 28, 2022 primary outcomes: Rae Ann Weber, Peter Lupia, Lynda Zamora Wilson, Lindsay Moore, David Winney, Summer Groubert, Todd Watkins and Tina Peters. 

The case alleges inflated costs and what amounts to, in my words not that of the filing, double (triple, quadruple…up to whatever eight is) dipping with recount costs. Given what I observed yesterday, these allegations are both logical and accurate (see what I did there?)

stop, collaborate, and listen

The filing is 27 pages, and alleges price gouging (again, my words — other people have said extortion) as well as the statute violations we’ve been talking about since Friday (and others we didn’t get to yet), as well as a summary of the overwhelming evidence for abolishing electronic voting systems forever. You know, like France and Germany. “Let’s be more like Europe!” 

You can read the full filing here:

In case you’re short on time, the candidates are asking the Court to issue an order to:

  1. Stop the recount
  2. Give the Secretary access to all pertinent election records used in conducting the recount
  3. Require the Secretary to conduct the recount
  4. Require the Clerk and Recorder to become an official observer to any recount conducted by the Secretary
  5. Require that all expenses incurred by the Secretary in conducting the recount be paid from the state general fund
  6. To require the expenses incurred prior to this Court’s order requiring the Secretary to conduct the recount to be paid by the county of El Paso
  7. Return all monies paid by the Candidates to the Clerk and Recorder and Secretary
  8. For such other relief as is just and proper, as the Court deems appropriate

Broerman refused to be served, and the papers sat on the floor of his hallway all day. They were still there when the candidates left. Not touching the papers doesn’t make them cease to exist, Chuck. 

Clerk Chuck Broerman in the Counting Room
Broerman was served today. He refused and would not touch the papers.

Although a hand recount is not part of the “prayer for relief,” the candidates are asking that the court order that to be the manner of the recount.  And after the clown show of the last four days, a hand count is most definitely warranted – not just because of the disaster this gold standard effort has been so far, but because this filing set off a firestorm of events today. 

everybody wants to rule the world

For the two and a half days of logic and accuracy testing and the half day of ballot counting, the environment was respectful, instructive, and collaborative. 

Today, the fourth day of the recount in El Paso, was supposed to begin at 9AM. The Canvass Judges (one from each party) hadn’t arrived until around 9:15AM, and then the judges got into position at their stations. The candidates and observers were allowed in around 9:25AM. 

According to several of the candidates, counting didn’t commence until Caleb Thornton, Secretary of State Counsel, and Angie Leath, EPC Elections Director, made an announcement:

Effective immediately, candidates and watchers are no longer allowed to ask any questions, request any information, or interact in any way with the elections staff or any judge. You must “request information or ask questions through your attorney to the county attorney.” 

Following the announcement, State Senate candidate Lynda Zamora Wilson asked Thornton what rule he was referring to when making this change, and the response he provided was:

“We are in litigation.”

caleb thornton

Remember, Thornton is Griswold’s attorney, not the County attorney. He’s the one (whose state puppet master is) calling the shots.

The three candidates in the room paid over $20,000 each to conduct this recount – plus El Paso’s cut of Tina’s quarter million. The recount is proceeding for now, but the candidates paying for it are not allowed to engage in the process beyond standing silently and observing. Relegated to petulant children, seen and not heard, simply for exercising their rights and challenging in court what they view as credible violations of the law. 

he’s a real nowhere man

Yesterday, during tabulation, some of the tabulators needed to be cleaned or have jams cleared, but this wasn’t enough to draw our attention. Today, however, the machines were throwing tantrums. 

One of many machine jams. Oh, Tabby.

It’s estimated by observers that there were between 20 and 30 paper jams across all tabulators today. Peter Lupia recalled from his notes, every tabulator was cleaned at least twice and jammed at least twice. Three tabulators had chronic issues: T40, T70, and T80.

You’ll remember Tabulator 80 from the videos in my post yesterday. This is the tabulator with the masked Election Judge filling in batch labels from June 23. It’s my favorite Tabulator. I named her Tabby.

Don’t get too attached, though, Tabby’s story doesn’t end well.

According to at least five people witnessing inside and outside of the counting room, around 2:40PM the T80 Election Judge was called over to speak with the Canvass Board Judges and Elections Director Leath. He returned to his desk and then shortly had another private conference before leaving the counting center. 

According to Peter Lupia, he was relieved of his duties, but Lupia wasn’t clear on what led to him being relieved. According to candidates and watchers who interacted with him, he was rude and was obstructing his workstation from the view of those watching (those who paid for the recount that is paying for his time). This is all speculation of those who observed or interacted with him, as none of us were invited to his exit interview. 

blind the wind

The fact that the candidates weren’t told why this Election Judge was removed from his duties – after which Tabby was shut down and excluded from the rest of the day’s counting also without explanation – is egregious.

But the reality is, they weren’t told anything. That Thornton runs a tight ship.

Jena must be proud. 

If you want to know how the recount is going today, you have to guess. 

Here is my best estimated guess based on information from the incredible patriots who are giving of their time, talents, and treasure to conduct this recount and document it for the People:

  1. At the end of Sunday’s counting, when the candidates were still allowed to know things about the recount they are paying for, the total ballots counted were 27,197. 
  2. Overheard by observers at the end of the day today, county staff stated the two-day total was 86,882 out of 150,157 total ballots cast.
  3. If these figures are correct, 59,685 ballots were counted today. 
  4. Yesterday, actual counting went on for about three and half hours, so the teams averaged around 7,770 ballots/hr. 
  5. Today, actual counting went on for an estimated seven hours, so the teams averaged around 8,526 ballot/hr.
  6. It was also shared yesterday – back when the candidates paying for this were allowed to know things – that the adjudication teams were averaging six seconds per adjudication. 
  7. At the end of Sunday – three and a half hours with one adjudication team – 1,324 ballots had been adjudicated, with 557 remaining to be adjudicated when counting ended. 
  8. Today, there were two adjudication teams working for seven hours, and at the end of the day there were still 715 files waiting to be adjudicated. 
  9. We have no idea how many ballots were adjudicated today because, again, the candidates aren’t allowed to know things.
  10. The candidates are paying for this. And I’m doing math. This is all kinds of messed up.

It’s interesting that their hourly rate of counting improved today despite an increased number of jams and cleanings and issues – and taking Tabby out of the game before 3PM. I guess when you remove interaction and questions, it goes faster? 

everything is awesome

Counting completed around 5:20PM and, for the next hour, the county conducted the batch sheet review to finalize the batch report. No discrepancies were reported at the end of the night, from any tabulator at all.

A matched B in every instance. 

I guess we can all go home?

The recount in El Paso is scheduled to continue through Thursday. I have no updated information on the status of the petition or when it is scheduled to be heard. 

When I know it, you’ll know it. Stay tuned.


Way too many people contributed to this report for me to name them all, and many of them don’t want to be named. Huge thanks!

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