Six charged for including forged signatures on petition in 2022 GOP primary race for Colorado’s 7th Congressional District seat
June 20, 2023 (DENVER)—Attorney General Phil Weiser has charged six individuals for allegedly submitting a petition with forged signatures in an to attempt to influence the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to include a candidate on the 2022 Republican primary ballot for the 7th Congressional District.
“Colorado’s best-in-class election system depends on individuals playing by the rules and acting with integrity. When candidates, their agents, or others in the process are deceitful and break the rules, they must be held accountable. We will continue to take such cases serious and take action when the evidence so warrants,” Attorney General Weiser said.
“Any person who breaks election law should be held accountable,” said Secretary Griswold. “My Office will continue to preserve a fair process for candidates to petition onto the ballot in Colorado.”
According to court documents, the charged individuals— Alex Joseph, Terris Kintchen, Patrick Rimpel, Jordahni Rimpel, Aliyah Moss, and Diana Watt—were paid circulators employed by the Oregon-based professional petitioning firm Grassfire, LLC. The firm was hired by the Carl Andersen for Congress campaign to circulate a petition to gather the necessary 1,500 valid signatures for Andersen to be placed on the Republican primary ballot. Each of the defendants signed affidavits affirming that they gathered signatures for this petition from people who signed the petition in their presence.
The Secretary of State’s Office received and then rejected the petition due to an insufficient number of valid voter signatures on the petition. Through its internal screening processes, the secretary’s office determined there was an unusually high number of signatures on the Andersen petition that did not match signatures in voter files. There were also several signatures of deceased voters on the petition. An investigation by the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit confirmed that a number of signatures were those of deceased voters or voters who moved out of Colorado prior to the circulation of the petition. There were also voters whose names appeared multiple times on the petition, but none of these voters actually signed the petition.
All defendants are charged with one count of Attempt to Influence a Public Servant, a class four felony, and one count of Perjury, a class two misdemeanor. No wrongdoing by Mr. Andersen is suspected, and the Attorney General’s Office found no criminal misconduct by Grassfire. The cases are filed in Denver District Court.
The filing of a criminal charge is a formal accusation that an individual committed a crime under Colorado laws. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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