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Dear Editor,

In high school science class, we learn the difference between a hypothesis and theory. A hypothesis is an idea subject to investigation. In science, if a hypothesis is not validated by data, it is discarded or modified, and additional data is collected and so on until a verifiable hypothesis is revealed.  A theory is a hypothesis that has been subjected to examination and validated with facts.

This distinction makes all the “Just askin’….” questions about election integrity just hypotheses. The next step, not taken by the “Just askin’…” folks, is for them to propose a hypothesis and actually test and prove it with facts.

“Just askin’…”  questions over election integrity and the integrity of election officials are now getting some pushback from both political sides. One notable example is Pam Anderson, GOP candidate for Secretary of State. Anderson is featured on the cover of Time magazine under the headline, “Conspiracy Theorists Want to Run America’s Elections. These Are the Candidates Standing in Their Way.” Further, Anderson is quoted in the Associated Press, after her victory in the GOP primary, “I will continue my fight for restoring the confidence of Colorado voters against lies and the politicians or interest groups that seek to weaponize elections administration for political advantage.”  Both articles are posted on Anderson’s website.

At the county level, County Commissioners and Clerk Mitchell received a letter from Alan Seeling (available by CORA request).

At the time of his writing, Seeling was Chairman of the Chaffee GOP and past leadership within the Chaffee Patriots. Alan Seeling wrote in January 2022, “First, I want to commend you, Lori, for your immediate follow-up concerning the past years videos. I think that what you did was very commendable. In addition, I think that your organization of the counting of ballots in the county is something you should be proud of.” Seeling continues, “As chair of the county GOP I am very happy to support your continued presence as County Clerk. I can’t say anything about anyone trying to run against you but I want you to know the GOP is not putting anyone up to waste your time running against you.”  Seeling concludes with, “Again, thank you for all your efforts on all of our behalves in Chaffee County, I think you are doing a good job.”

Back to high school science class, “You can’t prove what doesn’t exist, you can only prove what does exist.” Can we please see a testable hypothesis from the “Just askin’s….” that can be examined and either verified or discarded? After all, we have the paper ballots and they can be examined and audited. This is one of the many things that make Colorado’s elections secure and transparent. A fact, not a hypothesis. Until then, for mercy’s sake, can we do as Alan Seeling says and not “… waste your time (Clerk Mitchell)?”

JoAnne Allen