The mystery “duplicate ballot” was photographed, tweeted about and then shredded. In its internet afterlife, it was held up as evidence that recent electoral reforms centered around universal mail ballots were opening the state to fraud. In fact, the mystery ballot demonstrated that the system is working as well as it ever has done, and maybe better. It took a few days and some digging, but now it’s clear that the ballot was a Delta County special election ballot. It was mailed to Republican state House candidate Jon Keyser, an attorney at major Colorado law firm Hogan Lovells and a former Air Force intelligence officer. Keyser lives in Morrison, in Jefferson County, but he owns a Delta County parcel of land. He is eligible to vote in two elections. Keyser received two ballots in the mail because that’s how it works. They’re different ballots. He is being asked to vote in Jefferson County as a resident and on a long-term financing deal for Delta County’s Grand Mesa Water Conservancy District.
“We sent a property owners ballot to a Jonathan M. Keyser in Morrison for the one question,” confirmed Ann Eddins, Delta County clerk. She also confirmed that Keyser would have gotten a letter in advance informing him that a special elections ballot would be arriving in his mailbox in addition to his regular Jefferson County ballot. The back of the envelope also included a notice that he might receive two ballots in the mail this year.
Eddins also confirmed that her ballot envelopes include stick-on labels, not the fancier spray-over variety delivered by Jefferson County, and that the return address portion of the envelopes were different. Mainly, Delta County’s are orange; Jefferson County’s are blue. … All of that is pretty much exactly what Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson suspected when she saw the tweet Keyser sent out with a photo (above) of the two ballots he received, suggesting the system was broken.