Posted November 16, 2023
Submitted by a friend

Very simply, in the November 7, 2023 election, the Colorado Secretary of State's web site reporting ballot returns was reporting more ballots counted on Proposition HH than the total number of ballots received, by over 142,000, as described in more detail below from my local newsletter.

Election Magic - Did the Curtain Slip? Why do card sharps wear long sleeves?

Hypothetically, of course, if you controlled the software that reports voting results, and you assumed that not all cast ballots would vote one way or another on a particular issue important to you, you might consider slipping in some numbers favoring your position that no one would notice. So if 100 ballots were cast but of those 20 didn’t bother voting on your issue, you might get away with slipping in a few numbers no one would notice, up to 20, or so you hope.

But timing is important. Don’t slip those numbers in too soon, someone might notice. For example, November 7, 2023, an issue important to governor Polis and secretary of state Griswold is Proposition HH. Unfortunately for them, as of the following morning, November 8, incomplete results (Denver not completed election night reporting) with a total of 1,441,848 ballots cast, 856,182 voted no, only 566,663 supposedly voted yes. [All numbers are from the Secretary of State Web Site]. Too bad, and Denver plus overseas ballots would have to make up the 289,519 shortfall - a trick too large to pull off. Better luck next time?

But note, at 7:48 p.m. the evening of November 7th, with 11 of 64 counties reporting, the SoS web site had an interesting report: It reported that out of 843,273 ballots cast, 375,996 were in favor of Prop HH and 609,929 opposed. So out of a total of some 843 thousand ballots, 985 thousand were cast on proposition HH. Huh?

Ten minutes later, at 7:58 p.m. more magic, now only ten counties have completed reporting, no longer 11, and the numbers had changed: out of 898,801 ballots received, 406,621 favored Prop HH, 633,987 opposed, for a total of 1,040,608.

So slipped from that long sleeve, prematurely at 7:48 p.m. there were 142,652 ballots; at 7:58 p.m. there were 141,807 more ballots counted on Prop HH than were cast. Of course Wednesday morning with more ballots counted the discrepancy was not obvious.

Only Denver remained available to save Prop HH, and by 7:48 a.m. November 8th Denver was shown as having given up and finished election night reporting, with no change in the returns (screenshot below). At least in that shot the mysterious 142,000 ballots were absorbed in the overall number of ballots received.