With only a ‘gut feeling’, Adams County GOP chairperson ‘rejects’ election outcome, suspects fraud

AURORA | The chairwoman of the Adams County GOP said the party won’t accept local election results because she has a “gut feeling” of fraud, even though the party’s representative to the county canvassing board already voted to certify the results. 

JoAnn Windholz, who chairs the Adams County Republican Committee, said Tuesday she feels that Democrats and an election technology company conspired to sway the Nov. 3 General Election in favor of liberal candidates in the county. She has no evidence of any cheating or fraud. Election officials locally and nationally have repeatedly said there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud or conspiracy theories.

“Well I’m skeptical, yes, but I can’t prove it,” Windholz told the Sentinel

JoAnn Windholz

She said the Republicans’ representative on the county Canvassing Board had “no issues” with the election process. 

Adams County Clerk and Recorder Josh Zygielbaum said in a statement the county already certified the election results with the approval of the GOP’s representative. He said that indicates “the party’s belief that the results of the election were and are accurate and correct.”

Windholz’s “gut feeling” is two-fold: she doesn’t trust Democrats or Dominion, a Denver-based election technology firm used by election officials nationwide; and she’s incredulous that Republicans fared poorly in Adams County this year. 

Zygielbaum, a Democrat, said Dominion “has been used by Adams County without issue or objection from the Adams County Republican party since its implementation in 2016.”

President Donald Trump tweeted accusations Nov. 12 that Dominion had tossed out the ballots of Republican voters and switched votes for Democrat Joe Biden, who defeated Trump after a days-long General Election. 

The statement quickly drew condemnations from election officials. Officials with the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said there is “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Wayne Williams, a Republican and Colorado’s former Secretary of State, said Nov. 17 Dominion was thoroughly vetted and totally reliable. 

Windholz said Democrats fared suspiciously well this year in Adams County compared to years past. She was elected as a Republican state representative in 2014, but lost reelection two years later to Democrat Dafna Michaelson-Jenet, who easily kept her seat this year. 

In general, Adams County has trended left in recent years, with Democrats sweeping county-level races for offices like assessor and sheriff in the so-called blue wave of 2018. Voters in the region have consistently opted for Democrats in top ticket races, records show. Residents voted for former Sen. Mark Udall six years ago, and Senator-elect John Hickenlooper this year. The majority of the Adams County delegation in the state legislature has been primarily blue in recent years, though a handful of Republican bastions remain. 

Windholz acknowledged that demographic changes have reshaped Adams County from a sometimes Republican locale to one dominated by Democrats today. The county was a Democratic stronghold for years. Political analysts say Denver’s suburbs, including Aurora, have become more diverse and populated with more liberal voters. 

The bellwether of that phenomenon has been the 6th Congressional District, which morphed from red to dark blue in recent years. Adams County voters chose former Rep. Mike Coffman in 2014 but agreed to send Democrat Rep. Jason Crow back to Washington D.C. this year. The electorate also helped Crow flip the seat in 2018.

“It’s as much as our fault for not recognizing what was going on as it is the under-handedness we feel that has taken place since,” Windholz said of the election trends.  

Windholz also said some Republican election observers couldn’t see ballots being counted well enough when social distancing in facilities. 

Elsewhere, local Republican officials have tossed baseless accusations of fraud, including in fundraising campaigns.