Colorado state Rep. Ron Hanks speaks in the state House on May 22, 2021. (Screenshot from The Colorado Channel)
A second Colorado county clerk signed on to a lawsuit filed by state Rep. Ron Hanks against Secretary of State Jena Griswold as part of an effort to conduct a third-party “audit” of the 2020 election in the state.
Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder was added as a plaintiff in the lawsuit in an amended complaint entered a day after the initial complaint was filed in Denver District Court on Nov. 18.
The lawsuit claims that election system software used in Colorado’s 64 counties in 2020 was improperly certified, that the secretary of state’s office illegally destroyed election records, and that Griswold exceeded her authority when in the summer she adopted emergency rules to prevent the kind of election audit then occurring in Arizona, which she deemed illegitimate.
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Also named as plaintiffs are Merlin Klotz, the Douglas County clerk and recorder; two of the three Rio Blanco County commissioners, Gary Moyer and Jeff Rector; and Park County Commissioner Amy Mitchell.
When asked Monday about his motivation for joining the lawsuit, Schroeder said, “I’m not going to be speaking to the news media about that. We’ll have a website up shortly that will explain what’s going on.”
Schroeder in August told Newsline that after the November 2020 election, he started fielding calls about election integrity from citizens, and to demonstrate that constituents could have confidence in the results his office conducted a hand recount of the vote in Elbert. The recount proved the results were correct.
Asked if he still has faith in Elbert’s election results, Schroeder said, “Yes, we believe what we’re doing here is accurate.” He began to add, “So far that’s what’s …,” but didn’t complete the sentence. Asked if he thought voters could trust election results in other Colorado counties, he said, “You’ll just have to read the complaint and look at the website.”
Hanks is in his first term representing state House District 60, which includes Fremont, Chaffee, Park and Custer counties. Last month he entered the race to challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat who is running for reelection in 2022. Hanks has repeatedly made false claims relating to the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. He crossed police lines at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
As of Monday, Griswold had yet to file a response to the lawsuit with the court.
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