Colorado GOP Leader’s Hitler Comparison Sparks Election Integrity Debate!
In a recent escalation of political rhetoric, Ron Hanks, the Colorado GOP’s election integrity lead and a known election denier, compared Secretary of State Jena Griswold to Hitler. This inflammatory statement came amidst his efforts to persuade local Republican election board members to withhold certification of county election results.
Hanks led five GOP county chairs representing some of Colorado’s largest counties to follow suit. The counties affected include El Paso, Jefferson, Boulder, Larimer, and La Plata, collectively housing over two million residents. Notably, El Paso, Larimer, and La Plata are overseen by Republican clerks.
Hanks expressed his views on the “Chuck and Julie” podcast, criticizing the roles of Canvass board members as excessively laudatory towards Griswold, stemming from rules she implemented in 2021. He suggested these roles were limited to “praising and healing” Griswold, insinuating a dictatorial regime.
Despite his position as the Colorado GOP Ballot & Election Security Committee Chairman, Hanks’ call to action is largely symbolic. Election results can still be certified with most canvass board members, which in Colorado often includes a Republican county clerk and a Democratic Party member.
Secretary of State Griswold condemned Hanks’ remarks as “offensive and dangerous,” emphasizing the safety and security of Colorado’s elections. She asserted that such conspiracy-driven efforts by election deniers wouldn’t succeed, as election officials and canvass boards across all 64 counties had signed off on the election results.
Jefferson County Republican Chair Nancy Pallozzi was among those heeded Hanks’ directive. Pallozzi, who had been involved in the Clerk & Recorder’s office activities and even participated in the Logic & Accuracy Test and post-election Risk-Limiting Audit, opted not to certify the results. Her report cited concerns over the duplication process, signature verification, handling of undeliverable ballots, and the Risk-Limiting Audit (RLA) procedure.
Responding to Pallozzi’s concerns, Jefferson County Clerk Amanda Gonzalez clarified that the duplication process doesn’t change election outcomes, and the concerns raised about the RLA and ballot handling were based on misunderstandings. She reaffirmed the security and scrutiny of Colorado’s election processes.
Hanks, a former state representative who participated in the January 6 insurrection, is also known for a controversial campaign ad during his failed U.S. Senate run. He is aligned with Dave Williams, the current head of the Colorado Republican Party, and election conspiracist Seth Keshel. Williams and Keshel have been vocal in supporting Hanks’ election security committee’s activities.
This series of events reflects the ongoing tensions and divisions within Colorado’s political landscape, highlighting the challenges in maintaining electoral integrity and public trust in democratic processes.