State Republican Party again baselessly claims ‘potential’ voter fraud in race for 18th DA

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AURORA | The state faction of the Republican Party again took a page out of President Donald Trump’s playbook Friday, issuing a call for donations to investigate unfounded claims of voter fraud in the ongoing race for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s post.

The Colorado Republican Committee Friday morning sent an email soliciting money for a so-called “election integrity fund,” which promises to ensure that all ballots are properly counted.

“Our Republican candidate, John Kellner, is fighting hard in his neck and neck district attorney’s race,” the message reads. “But with reports of potential fraud taking place across America, our party is going to remain vigilant to cure ballots and take action in any possible recount scenarios in outstanding races.”

The party sent similar emails days after Election Day on Nov. 3. Friday’s email was dated Nov. 5, possibly making it a recycled email blast.

Kellner, who is currently a chief deputy DA in the office he appears slated to assume, leads Democratic challenger Amy Padden by slightly more than 1,400 votes, according to unofficial election results. That just meets the threshold to trigger an automatic recount under state law, though that process is not expected to begin until after Thanksgiving.

Neither Kellner nor Padden have raised claims of election fraud in the race.

A spokesperson for Padden’s campaign last week did, however, lament the thousands of outstanding ballots in Arapahoe County — an area where Padden dominated — that remained uncured the week after Election Day. The process to cure ballots, or rectify discrepancies flagged by elections officials, ended last week.

None of the four county clerks who oversaw the election of the multi-county judicial district have flagged the race for potential tampering, either.

“The curing process is over, and we’ll certify the election next week,” Luc Hatlestad, spokesman for Arapahoe County, wrote in an email. “We have seen no evidence of fraud in any of our races.”

Representatives for clerk and recorder’s offices in Douglas and Elbert counties did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative from the Lincoln County clerk’s office said Clerk Corrine Lengel is out of the office until Monday.

All clerks are currently in the process of auditing and certifying their results, a process that follows all general elections.

Padden has not formally conceded in the race, saying that she wants to ensure all votes are counted. Kellner began his transition to his new role with outgoing DA George Brauchler’s team earlier this week, Brauchler tweeted.

The winner of the race is expected to assume the role in early January.