Candidate asks secretary of state to pull ad about disinformation

DENVER (KDVR) — It’s that time of year when you will see a lot of elected officials on TV asking for your vote. Secretary of State Jena Griswold has a new ad encouraging you to watch out for disinformation before you head to the ballot box, but her opponent is calling on her to pull the ad, saying the commercial is an act of self-promotion.

The ad came from the Secretary of State’s Office, not Griswold’s campaign. Her opponent, Pam Anderson, is taking issue with the funding behind the messaging.

The ad features current Secretary of State Jena Griswold and former secretary of state turned Mesa County Election Advisor Wayne Williams.

“I believe in the message as a candidate, as the [past] executive director for the clerk’s association, as a [former] county clerk, but I would’ve, during the Broncos game, had John Elway talking about voting security, not a declared candidate for office,” Anderson said. “You can do public service announcements but you don’t have to use declared candidates to send that message. I think that’s where you cross the line into electioneering. Both of those candidates are running for office right now, and I think taxpayer money is not an appropriate use.”

The ads were purchased with funding from the “Help America Vote Act” or HAVA. The Elections Assistance Commission’s website states:

“Keep in mind that HAVA funds can be used to provide information on voting procedures, rights or technology. Items intended to ‘get out the vote’ or merely encourage voting do not meet this requirement.”

Griswold said she believes the ad in question meets those parameters.

“We work with our lawyers to ensure it’s compliant, but this initiative is paid through federal dollars through the Help America Vote Act. To be completely straightforward, these conspiracies have been destabilizing Colorado’s elections from inside threats to threats against election workers. We are seeing conspiracies really take hold,” Griswold said. “I don’t think people should be playing political games when it comes to increasing voter confidence or addressing the threats to democracy. Bipartisan outreach to voters from two secretaries of state who even ran against each other in an election, we should be proud of that and not twisting it into something that it’s not.”

Anderson said she would have liked to see the state use the funding to help local county clerks.

Griswold said she believes this is all a political game and has no intentions of pulling the ad.


Source: Rocky Mountain News

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