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U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, chair of the Colorado Republican Party, defended the integrity of the state’s election system in remarks to a conservative online crowd Wednesday night, drawing the ire of fellow President Donald Trump supporters.
Buck joined three Republican county clerks for a Zoom call that was broadcast on CaucusRoom, a conservative social media website. Buck asked the trio questions about each step of Colorado’s election process and received detailed answers testifying to the safety and security of Colorado’s elections past and present.
“I think it’s so important for us to understand that our votes are not being manipulated,” the conservative congressman said in closing remarks.
“So, to have some conspiracy theory in Colorado that something has been manipulated and the Russians or the Iranians or some group, George Soros or somebody else, is doing something to our system — I talked to Carly first; I talked to Chuck second. I am convinced that’s not happening,” Buck added, referring to Weld County Clerk Carly Koppes and El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman.
Buck’s remarks came a few hours after a 46-minute speech at the White House by Trump in which he alleged, without evidence, that the presidential election was rigged. He took aim at election systems in several swing states, though not Colorado. His remarks over the past month have undermined faith in America’s elections, which was evident in the reception Buck received Wednesday night.
On CaucusRoom, some of the 600 attendees typed expletives in a chat box that accompanied the video, yelling at Buck and the county clerks to investigate an election they consider fraudulent. They vowed to vote the four Republicans out of office and were irate Buck called one of their claims a conspiracy theory.
“I feel ill, this is so outrageous,” one man wrote.
“I didn’t realize Ken was that much of a never-Trumper,” added another. Buck is a supporter of the president and arguably the most conservative member of Colorado’s congressional delegation.
Vickie Tonkins, chair of the El Paso County Republican Party, wrote, “I have no doubt that President Trump won…by a landslide!” and urged fellow fans of the president to keep the faith. “President Trump will be in for 4 more years.”
Buck’s remarks Wednesday night followed a pattern among prominent Colorado Republicans, who tend to defend Colorado’s election system even as they cast doubt on systems in other states, or remain mum on Trump’s allegations of widespread fraud. Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert, a Rifle Republican, has echoed Trump’s allegations but believes her own election was fair and accurate.
In recent interviews, Buck has defended Trump’s right to challenge the election in court but said he hasn’t seen evidence of widespread election fraud. On Wednesday, he made clear he was only defending Colorado’s election system.
“It is so important that people have confidence in their elections,” Buck told the CaucusRoom crowd, “and that people understand that in Colorado — I can’t speak for other states, but in Colorado — we’re doing it the right way and we have confidence in our election results.”
Tressa Guynes, the Republican clerk for Montrose County, said, “Colorado’s system is the gold standard.” Koppes, the Republican Weld County clerk who has worked on five presidential elections, called this year’s “one of the smoothest that we’ve had.” Broerman, the Republican El Paso County clerk, said other states want to mimic Colorado because it’s “arguably the best system in the country.”