Denver Republicans are looking for … more Denver Republicans

The Denver Republican Party has fired up the GOP-signal to tell party members it urgently needs more election judges.
3 min. read
The 2018 Republican State Assembly on the campus of the University of Colorado Boulder, April 14, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; boulder; colorado; election; politics; kevinjbeaty; denverite;

A Republican Party caucus at Hill Middle School in Hilltop, March 6, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Denver Republican Party has fired up the GOP-signal to tell party members it urgently needs more election judges.

An email blast from Denver County Republican Party chairman Jake Viano on Sunday night said the party doesn't have enough election judges for the upcoming elections. The scarcity is linked to their overall numbers in Denver, which is a sea of blue voters: Nearly 50 percent of registered voters in Denver are Democrats. By contrast, among Denver County's 387,713 active registered voters, just 53,960 — that's 13.9 percent — are registered Republicans.

"Because we're severely underrepresented, it causes them to feel like there's nothing that we're going to accomplish here," Viano said Monday. "They unfortunately don't realize that Denver lies in the path of victory for statewide Republican candidates."

Denver Elections Division spokesman Alton Dillard said election judges provide support to his department by assisting in same-day registration, helping people use accessible voting tablets  and working in ballot processing rooms.

"There's not a ton of Republicans in Denver," Dillard said. "This is the first time, really that we have had to ask them to put out another call."

Dillard said volunteers can expect between $11 to $15 an hour, depending on the type of election judge (they also get paid for attending training sessions). Dillard said he needs about 30 to 35 more Republican judges, with time commitment varying but lasting as long as two and half weeks.

Judges from both major parties wear badges with party affiliations, Dillard said. Overall, Dillard said there will be 275 election judges serving in Denver County for the Primary Election.

Bob Bair and David Bailey, a bipartisan pair of election judges, review unclear ballot markings in 2016. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)

"We always strive for partisan balance," Dillard said. "The election office only has about 20 full-time employees, so we rely on judges to help with these positions during actual elections."

Viano said he will likely be reaching out surrounding counties including Douglas County and Weld County, and possibly Jefferson Counties, about borrowing election day judges.

"Obviously the last thing we want to worry about is election integrity, but in order to make that a reality here, we need as many Republican election judges as possible in the City/County of Denver," Viano said.

Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert said that once a party exhausts their list of election judges, the county clerk can try and use registered party voters from other counties or unaffiliated voters to fill in the vacancies. This list is often made up of voters who have previously volunteered.

During the 2014 and 2016 election, Staiert said Boulder County couldn't get enough Republican election judges from their county, so they used GOP election judges from neighborhood counties.

Want to volunteer? Here's what you need to do.

You must be a registered Republican to work as a GOP election judge. The Secretary of State's office also has a list of criteria you must meet to qualify.

People interested in serving can email [email protected] and include their name, address, phone number, email and which election you're interested in working. You can also contact Election Judge/Poll Watcher Coordinator Wendy Warner at 303-817-3194 if you're interested in volunteering.

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