Scott Gessler: Boulder clerk protesting election non-certification sang a different tune in 2004

Categories: News, Politics

Sec. of State Scott Gessler.jpeg
Scott Gessler.
We reported last week that the canvass board in Boulder County, responsible for certifying the results of the election, decided against it, arguing that there were serious flaws in the process. Hillary Hall, Boulder's clerk and recorder, was not pleased. But when we asked Secretary of State Scott Gessler about the situation, he pointed out that Hall was a canvass board member in 2004, when she voted against certification.

In this year's election, which Gessler has said was generally very successful, especially relative to debacles in other states, Boulder is the only county not to certify the results. When a majority of the canvass board -- which is made up of representatives from the major parties in each county, along with the clerk -- chooses not to certify the results, it must outline its reasoning for the Secretary of State's office, which then has to review the case and make a final call.

Aurora vote center line 1.jpeg
Sam Levin
A vote center in Aurora on election day.
Hall voted in favor of certifying the election, along with the two Democratic Party members. (The two GOP reps and the two American Constitution Party reps voted against it). Hall told us she is very confident in the results and is certain that this lack of certification will ultimately have no impact on the outcome.

After Gessler spoke at a campaign finance panel last week, we asked him for his take on the situation in Boulder. He told us there was an interesting back-story behind the non-certification.

"In 2004, there was a big controversy about certification," he said. "And there were five people on the canvass board then -- the clerk and recorder, two Republicans and two Democrats. One Republican and one Democrat refused to certify, so it was a 3-2 vote to certify that Boulder.... The one person who was very supportive of certifying the election was an elections attorney named Scott Gessler, who was a member of the canvass board. One of the people who voted against it was a party member on the Democratic side named Hillary Hall. She voted against certification."

While that race was two presidential cycles ago, it's noteworthy given that Hall, who subsequently became a clerk and recorder, has been critical of the current canvass board members in Boulder for refusing to certify the results. She told us that from her perspective, it seems they had no intention of ever certifying the results and are trying to make a political statement about mail-in ballots.

The 2004 case is also interesting considering that Gessler, a Republican, clashed with Hall, who was at that time the Boulder Democratic Party chair, over the results in a county that is making headlines for the same reason this year.

While Gessler and Hall clearly disagreed about the process then, this time around, it is much more likely that they will agree on the validity of the results.

Continue for response from Hillary Hall and more from Gessler on the process going forward.

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