I get it. Losing is hard. We’ve all had to face the feeling that somehow, despite our best efforts, we didn’t win.
I was a golf professional in my younger years and – like all sports competitors – what kept me motivated after losing was getting a little better for the next round. You don’t attack the person or team that beat you, that gets you nowhere. You learn new talents, get stronger and acquire new skills to prepare to win the next one. Be a good sport, like your parents taught you.
Recently, a group of election deniers have attacked me personally and accused me of not being transparent or of violating federal or state election laws. Anyone who knows me knows that is not true.
Groups like this one have popped up here in Colorado and nationally and are aggressively selling their brand of “loser logic,” that their loss was a result of some misbehavior in the election system.
When I played golf, it was that guy who gets angry and blames his bad tee shot on someone who sneezed behind him as he was swinging.
Don’t buy what these election deniers are selling. Let’s keep our eye on the ball.
Colorado’s elections are referred to as the “gold standard” of the U.S. election laws for good reason: open to every eligible voter, fair, transparent, secure, and accessible. Let’s take pride in that achievement, despite others wanting to tear it down.
In 2013, I helped a large coalition of people (both Republican and Democrat) who fought hard to make Colorado’s election laws safer, more accurate, and up-to-date. And I help the bipartisan county clerks at the Capitol every year to make sure it works at a local level for local voters. Colorado elections laws are built to support you, the voter.
People who argue for a hand count of ballots don’t understand that it is the least accurate and most expensive way to conduct an election. Let’s not go backward. We have saved millions of dollars and made our election systems much more accurate since 2013.
Colorado has multiple ways to stop voter fraud, ensuring no one votes more than once, death records checks remove people from voter rolls, and have bipartisan citizen audits to make sure there’s no hanky-panky. We have state laws that are conducted by local offices. You may have heard about a dead person voting or someone who tried to vote someone else’s ballot. That means the system caught the culprit and the system works.
It’s hard not to take recent accusations against me personally. I admit, some days it gets me down. My employees don’t deserve the harassment, nor do my family and friends. But mostly I worry that the crazy talk will inspire someone who doesn’t understand the process to harm someone or worse.
But most important, I want the citizens of Chaffee County to know that their votes are counted fairly and accurately by my office. And let the best candidate or issue win.
Lori Mitchell, Chaffee County Clerk, and Recorder