As a gesture of good faith, the Mesa County commissioners agreed to a meeting Wednesday to give area residents who believe the 2020 election was stolen a chance to show how they think the county and state election systems are faulty.
But like numerous other attempts nationwide, from the courts to Congress to special voter-fraud conspiracy theory events, no actual evidence was presented, only accusations and innuendo that something must be wrong with election equipment.
That same thing happened Wednesday when Garfield County resident Sherronna Bishop met with commissioners, former Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Mesa County Attorney Todd Starr and a handful of others.
Bishop and her “experts,” who admitted they really weren’t experts in election security, made accusations that the Dominion Voting System ballot tabulation machines that 62 of Colorado’s 64 counties have long used were somehow suspect because they allegedly include hardware and software that allow remote access.
According to local and state elections officials, however, the machines have no capability for remote access on any level.
Still, when directly questioned by the county officials in a meeting that got contentious at times, Bishop and her witnesses either said they couldn’t provide hard evidence because some of it is part of a criminal investigation, or that it’s the county and state, and not them, who should be doing their own investigation to find that evidence.
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters did not attend the meeting, either in person or virtually.
“If you and Tina have these images, why didn’t you go to law enforcement,” Commissioner Janet Rowland asked at the meeting. “If you cared about election integrity, wouldn’t you go straight to the district attorney?”
Neither Bishop, nor her experts, could answer other than to repeat unproven accusations and calls for a forensic audit of the machines.
“The centralizing of our voting systems has been a major contributor to this, what we think is a lot of fraud,” Bishop said. “So, when you’re asking us to trust and go to people who are not willing to admit there’s even a potential for fraud in Colorado, that’s just not accurate.
“Those (elections) companies have far more manpower and money, have tech-savvy people to protect their systems, and yet you guys would try to have us believe, us dimwitted little hickerbillies, that there’s no fraud here in our machines,” Bishop added. “It is possible. It has happened.”
Afterwards, Rowland said she was disappointed in the outcome of the meeting.
“The specific request was to allow her forensic team to ‘go over the imaging,’ but at the meeting we were told they couldn’t share the imaging with us because of the ongoing criminal investigation,” Rowland said.
“The criminal investigation didn’t start until mid-August, but they’ve had the images since May,” Rowland added. “If evidence really exists, that proves Mesa County’s elections was compromised, it should have immediately been taken to the district attorney or the sheriff. That should have happened day one.”
Mesa County resident Tom Bjorklund, another of Bishop’s “experts,” claimed that thousands of dead and incarcerated people voted in the 2020 elections, but provided no actual evidence of that.
Williams, who asked for that information, was appointed as the county’s temporary designated election official after Peters was temporarily prohibited from conducting them.
He described the meeting this way:
“Your parents promise you toys for Christmas,” Williams told The Daily Sentinel after the 1 1/2-hourlong session ended.
“Excited, you arise early in the morning to see what might be under the tree,” he added. “There is nothing. You ask your parents what happened, and they explain how there was a theoretical possibility there could have been something.”