Colorado’s top elections official calls out lies, ‘blatant abuse,’ and voter suppression being used by GOP officials ‘a tool to steal future elections’

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold makes a point during a news conference about the the state's efforts to protect the process of casting a vote in the general election Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in downtown Denver.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold makes a point during a news conference about the the state’s efforts to protect the process of casting a vote in the general election Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in downtown Denver.

  • For nearly a decade, Colorado has automatically mailed a ballot to every registered voter.
  • Officials boast that the system is a “gold standard” for administering elections.
  • But after 2020, the bipartisan consensus has begun to erode.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jena Griswold was 34 years old when, in her first run for office back in 2018, she defeated a Republican incumbent to become the top elections official in Colorado, the first Democrat to hold the position in six decades and the youngest secretary of state in the nation.

Two years later, Griswold helped administer a presidential election – in a place where all voters receive a ballot in the mail – that state and national officials deemed “the most secure in American history.”

Joe Biden won Colorado by more than 439,000 votes and, with it, the presidency. But the groundwork for discrediting his victory had been laid months before. When voters made their choice, the lying hit a fever pitch: about widespread fraud; about fake ballots, maybe from China, being added to the tally in the middle of the night; about officials, left and right, rigging the vote against an incumbent.

In an interview, Griswold said she now fears for her safety.

“I’m not alone in that,” she said. Across the country, “Democratic secretaries of state have received all types of death threats.” Republicans, too.

In Arizona, Katie Hobbs, that state’s Democratic elections official, was recently provided a state security detail after being threatened over her criticism of the partisan “audit” taking place in Maricopa County, where a private third party, Cyber Ninjas, has been given free rein by the GOP-led state senate over 2.1 million ballots – a majority of them cast for President Biden – in an apparent effort, dismissed by a bipartisan group of experts as not credible, to fit the facts to the pro-Trump conspiracy theories.

Griswold is part of a bipartisan group of elections officials urging Congress to provide billions of dollars to shore up state and local voting infrastructure (“elections cost money”). But the biggest threat to the security of democracy, she said, is something else: disinformation.

In 2016, the Russian government worked to tilt the election in Donald Trump’s favor, as well as to sow doubt about the integrity of any vote he lost. It did so again in 2020.

But stateside, “elected officials really embraced the use of lies to try to manipulate Americans voters,” Griswold said.

“The lies are creating violence. The lies are creating threats,” she said. It is those elected officials, more than any foreign adversary, that she sees as threatening the integrity of the US political system. The push for “fraudulent audits,” in Arizona and elsewhere, is to Griswold perhaps the most glaring example of officials who know better engaging in bad faith to better position themselves for the next GOP primary.

“The blatant abuse of political seats for these elected officials’ personal gain is incredibly dangerous to our democracy, but also to election workers,” she said. “That is, hands down, my number one concern.”

It has included misleading the public over the very right to vote. In Georgia, when Republicans passed a new elections law that requires mail-in voters to provide an ID every time they cast a ballot – citing the need to address fraud that was never uncovered – they pointed to Colorado as if it were a model they were following. But Colorado only requires proof of identification once, at registration, the standard Republicans embraced in the early 2000s, and it accepts utility bills, not just government forms of ID. And, as of 2019, residents are now automatically registered to vote anytime they get a driver’s license.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous to compare Colorado’s gold-standard voter model to Georgia’s voter suppression model,” Griswold told Insider. Even before the new restrictions, some voters in Georgia, particularly in urban areas, could expect to wait hours in line; in Colorado, the average wait time is seven minutes – and there’s no prohibition on giving them water.

But false claims of voter fraud are being used around the country to impose such new restrictions. The threat to democracy, again, is coming from within.

“What we’re seeing is insider political actors use voter suppression as a tool to steal future elections,” Griswold said. “And that is the most un-American and corrupting thing you can do.”

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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Graphs show where the Delta variant is surging fastest in the US, with huge spikes in Missouri, Colorado, Utah, and Arkansas

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A man receives a nasal swab COVID-19 test at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport .

  • The number of people infected with the Delta variant has sky-rocketed in four US states, a virus expert said.
  • Delta was now the most common virus strain in Missouri, Utah, Colorado, and Arkansas, Trevor Bedford said.
  • Bedford co-developed Nextstrain, a data platform used by the World Health Organization that tracks virus outbreaks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The number of people infected with the highly infectious Delta has skyrocketed in four US states, according to an expert in virus sequencing.

Trevor Bedford, affiliate associate professor at the department of genome sciences at University of Washington, said on Twitter on Thursday that the Delta variant had displaced the formerly-dominant Alpha variant in Missouri, Utah, Colorado, and Arkansas.

Bedford did not say where he got the data from, but he co-developed Nextstrain, a data platform used by the World Health Organization, that tracks virus outbreaks using publicly available data including from the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data.

The most striking change was in Missouri, where the Alpha variant caused more than 80% of cases in May, and now accounts for about 10% of cases. Meanwhile, the Delta caused about 30% of sequenced cases in May, and more than 80% of new cases now, he said.

Missouri has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the US – 36% of Missourians are fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Read more: Experts explain why the mRNA tech that revolutionized COVID-19 vaccines could be the answer to incurable diseases, heart attacks, and even snake bites: ‘The possibilities are endless’

The Delta variant is estimated to be at least twice as infectious as the Alpha variant and has rapidly spread to more than 96 countries. The World Health Organization said in a report released Tuesday that it expected Delta to outcompete other variants worldwide.

Bedford said on June 22 that it was difficult to predict the size of the Delta epidemic, but that he expected it to vary depending on the number of people vaccinated in an area. Real-world data from the UK showed that one dose of Pfizer’s vaccine was just 33% protective against COVID-19 with symptoms caused by Delta, rising to 88% effective after two doses.

Bedford did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the source of the data.

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After supermarket shooting, Colorado is letting cities pass their own gun laws – and Boulder plans to enforce its assault weapons ban

boulder shooting
The memorial at the King Soopers on Table Mesa in Boulder, United States on March 24, 2021.

  • After a supermarket shooting, Colorado repealed a law banning cities from passing local gun laws.
  • Boulder now hopes to enforce its 2018 assault weapons ban that a judge had previously struck down.
  • Most cities in the US are not able to pass local gun laws due to state laws banning the practice.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Months after ten people were killed in a mass shooting at a Boulder, Colorado supermarket, the state’s government took swift action.

Legislators have passed six gun laws since the shooting in March, with Gov. Jared Polis signing three of them into law Saturday. The recently adopted laws expand background checks for gun purchases and create an office of gun violence prevention.

The third gives local jurisdictions control over gun rights by repealing an existing ban that prevented cities from passing their own gun laws and has renewed interest in Boulder for an assault weapons ban. Almost all states have similar laws, known as preemption laws, that prevent local gun laws, according to the National Rifle Association.

Read more: 2 Democrats are pushing for decriminalizing possession of all drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and meth

Despite the former ban, Boulder had enacted its own local ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines in 2018, though it had not yet been enforced. On March 12, a judge ruled the ban violated Colorado state law, citing the preemption law, and struck it down.

Just 10 days later, a gunman killed 10 people at a supermarket in the city using an AR-556, an AR-15-style semi-automatic pistol, that he had purchased days prior. The gun would have been covered by the ban, according to The Denver Post, because it included guns that can use external magazines. He purchased the gun in another city, though Boulder’s ban would have made it illegal for him to carry it in the city.

Boulder is again looking at the ban now that the new state bill allows for cities to set their own gun laws. Mayor Sam Weaver told The Wall Street Journal he believes the new bill will negate the legal challenges to the assault weapons ban, effectively putting it into effect. He also said the city will do what it takes to make the ban enforceable.

“In theory, if we didn’t have this law, you could go buy an assault weapon, and then walk across the street and shoot a bunch of students,” Weaver told the Journal. “So we would like to have it in place to prevent rash actions with assault weapons in Boulder.”

The pre-emption laws gained traction in the 1980s after Democrat-led cities passed gun laws in states controlled by lawmakers who were more conservative, The Journal reported. The NRA and other gun-rights advocates have strongly supported pre-emption laws.

Polis had signed two additional gun bills into law earlier this year following the supermarket shooting, including regulations for gun storage and requirements for reporting stolen or missing firearms. Another bill that passed and awaits the governor’s signature seeks to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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Anti-vaxxer sheriff’s deputy dies from COVID-19 complications shortly after mocking the vaccine on Facebook

Daniel 'Duke' Trujillo shared anti-vaccination memes
Daniel ‘Duke’ Trujillo, 33, died on Wednesday. He had shared anti-vaccination posts on social media in the weeks prior to his death.

  • Daniel ‘Duke’ Trujillo, 33, died on Wednesday from COVID-19 complications.
  • The Denver Sheriff’s deputy had shared a string of anti-vax posts just weeks before his death, MailOnline reported.
  • “I have an immune system,” read one of his Facebook posts.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Colorado sheriff’s deputy died from COVID-19 complications shortly after sharing a string of anti-vaccination posts on his social media, according to MailOnline.

Daniel ‘Duke’ Trujillo, 33, died on Wednesday with his family by his side, Denver’s Sheriff Department said on Twitter.

Three weeks before his death, Trujillo had updated his Facebook profile picture to include a border that read, “I have an immune system,” the MailOnline said.

“I don’t care if you’ve had your vaccine,” read another profile picture border included on a now-deleted Facebook post from April, the paper reported.

Read more: Experts warn that fake vaccine cards are for sale on the dark web. But we found it was incredibly easy to just print them, obtaining 150 for only $50.

The sheriff’s deputy had also captioned a TikTok post, which he shared on his Facebook profile, with a vaccine-hesitant message.”I’ll get it later on after y’all start growing apendages [sic] out of y’alls foreheads,” he wrote.

Trujillo shared an Instagram post in July 2020 that suggested he refused to wear masks, according to a screenshot shared by MailOnline. “Before you shame me in public for not having a mask, ask yourself one simple question,” the post said. “Will this mask stop an uppercut?”

Denver Sheriff Elisa Diggins announced that Trujillo’s passing would be considered a “line of duty” death on Thursday evening, The Denver Channel reported.

Trujillo is the second Denver Sheriff Department deputy to die of COVID-19 complications this month, the local media outlet said. Deputy James Herrera also died from the coronavirus on May 16.

Both had been eligible for a vaccine since January, Denver Sheriff Department spokeswoman Daria Serna told Canoncitydailtrecord.com.

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Colorado Governor Jared Polis wants his state to be the first to accept cryptocurrencies for taxes

Colorado Governor Jared Polis
Colorado Governor Jared Polis

  • Colorado Governor Jared Polis wants his state to be the first to accept cryptocurrency for taxes.
  • “I’d be thrilled to be the first state to let you pay your taxes in a variety of cryptos,” Polis said.
  • Polis has long been a crypto bull and was the first politician to accept campaign donations in bitcoin.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis told Coindesk he wants his state to be the first to allow residents to pay state taxes with cryptocurrencies on Tuesday.

“I’d be thrilled to be the first state to let you pay your taxes in a variety of cryptos,” Polis said in an interview at Coindesk’s Consensus 2021 virtual conference.

He added: “Colorado is and will be the center for blockchain innovation in the United States, attracting investments and good jobs and innovators in infrastructure, digital identity, [and] individual data security in the private and public sector.”

Polis has long been an avid cryptocurrency supporter. He was the first politician to legally accept campaign donations in bitcoin and previously sparred with US Senator Joe Manchin over cryptocurrencies.

Manchin wrote a letter in 2014 describing bitcoin as “suspect, if not outright detrimental” and called on federal regulators to ban its use before Americans get left “holding the bag on a valueless currency.”

Polis responded to Manchin’s letter by replacing all the instances of BTC in the note with “dollar bills” in a satirical call to ban the fiat currency.

“As digital currencies like bitcoin become more popular, the level of awareness will increase in Congress as well,” Polis wrote, per Coindesk.

“It’s important to continue to establish the basic fact that the dollar is the currency of choice for cartels, criminals, and illicit transactions and is likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future,” he added.

If Polis’ vision becomes a reality, his state won’t be the first to try and accept cryptocurrencies for tax purposes.

In 2018, Ohio announced the creation of OhioCrypto.com, which would allow businesses (but not individuals) to pay taxes using digital currency.

The program turned out to be a failure, with only 10 companies using the website, according to the new treasurer, Robert Sprague. Sprague then ended the program in 2019.

Read more: Meet the 11 crypto masterminds at Wall Street firms like JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley who are helping clients understand the mania – and successfully invest in it

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GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn let his son live in a storage unit in the US Capitol basement for weeks, lawsuit claims

Doug Lamborn
In this Dec. 18, 2019, file photo, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., speaks at the Capitol in Washington, DC.

  • A GOP congressman’s son lived in a basement storage space in the Capitol, a lawsuit claims.
  • A former staffer is suing Lamborn’s office for retaliation after he was fired in December 2020.
  • The lawsuit also accuses the Colorado lawmaker of dangerously flouting COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado allowed his son to live in a storage unit in the basement of the US Capitol for a few weeks, according to a lawsuit from a former staffer.

Former Lamborn staffer Brandon Pope made the claim in a lawsuit first reported by NBC Washington, but it remains unclear when the alleged incident occurred.

The lawsuit says Lamborn “gave his son the necessary access to live in a storage area in the basement of the U.S. Capitol for a period of weeks when Lamborn’s son relocated to Washington, D.C. for work.”

In response to questions from Colorado Public Radio’s Caitlyn Kim on Friday, Lamborn confirmed that he gave his son “temporary housing as my guest because the housing market in Washington, DC is very tight, and he moved here to get a job at the Pentagon.” He declined to clarify whether his son lived in his office or in the basement.

Pope tested positive for the coronavirus and raised concerns about Lamborn’s “reckless and dangerous approach to COVID-19,” per the lawsuit, which accuses Lamborn’s office of retaliating by terminating him.

Broadly, Pope claims that Lamborn violated the Congressional Accountability Act’s prohibition against retaliation and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) by disregarding COVID-19 safety protocols, including requiring employees to come back into the office amid the pandemic, being inflexible with remote work, not mandating mask-wearing, and “not permitting” social distancing.

Pope’s lawsuit also said that both Lamborn and his wife “claimed that COVID was a hoax and asserted that the pandemic was being used to alter the course of the congressional and presidential elections.”

Lamborn claimed on Friday that he “accommodated people’s concerns” during the pandemic and described Pope as “a disgruntled employee,” telling Kim that he plans to file a response to Pope’s complaint.

Read more: Stupid amounts of money are up for grabs on Capitol Hill. These 13 experts are critical in the fight over who gets what.

Pope, who worked as an advisor on business and defense policy, also said that Lamborn “has consistently disregarded ethical rules and norms that apply to Members of Congress.”

In addition to flouting COVID-19 protocols and putting staff at risk, Pope accused Lamborn of deputizing congressional staff to perform personal tasks and errands for him and his family, and using his position as a member of Congress to the benefit of himself and his family.

Pope also said that staffers were assigned to help Lamborn’s son apply for federal jobs by showing him how the USA Jobs website worked, assisting him with applications, and even preparing him for interviews “by asking him mock interview questions and helping him craft his responses.”

Other errands House staffers were expected to perform included picking up mail, moving furniture, doing campaign-related tasks during official work hours and lunch breaks, and “assisting Representative Lamborn’s wife to set up a video telecom system so that she could hold personal video calls with her family,” according to the lawsuit.

Pope also suggested that previous staffers had been fired for not attending events and gatherings at Lamborn’s house.

Lamborn’s office hadn’t responded to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publishing.

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Leading QAnon antisemite who was retweeted by Trump was hiding in plain sight as a chiropractor from Denver, says investigation

craig longley inevitableet qanon
A screenshot grabbed from a video on Craig Longley’s YouTube channel dedicated to physical therapy. The page has since been deleted.

  • Prominent QAnon influencer ‘InevitableET’ has been identified as Craig Longley, Vice reported.
  • The antisemitic conspiracy theorist works as a chiropractor in Denver, Colorado.
  • He runs one of the most famous QAnon Telegram channels. It has over 200,000 subscribers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

One of QAnon’s most openly antisemitic influencers has been hiding in plain sight as a chiropractor in Denver, a Vice investigation revealed.

Craig Longley, originally from Texas, has been living a double life for several years; running a popular QAnon channel on Telegram, and working as a healthcare professional in Colorado.

Known to his far-right followers as InevitableET, Longley has gone to great lengths to protect his true identity since 2017.

But he has now been identified through images of him used on his social media channels and by those in Denver who know him, Vice’s David Gilbert said.

Read more: ‘QAnon: Into the Storm’ director Cullen Hoback talks about how 2 random guys trolled the entire world and inspired a deadly insurrection

A former client of Longley at his downtown Denver clinic, who asked to be referred to as Maria, is one of the people who helped identify Longley. She told Vice that she met him at a CrossFit gym in 2016.

She later signed up to chiropractic sessions with him and told the media outlet that Longley spoke to her about Jeffrey Epstein, Hillary Clinton, and the Obamas – popular boogeymen in the QAnon world.

“He was effectively trying to red pill me,” Maria said.

Longley has also been identified via content he shared on his QAnon accounts. Three individuals, who were granted anonymity, told Vice that a profile picture of him used on his InevitableET Twitter account and an Instagram video of him reciting the QAnon Oath match the image of Longley.

A Vice review of content posted on his InevitableET pages shows that Longley has embraced many far-right views for at least four years. He has supported election fraud myths, COVID-19 denial, and the popular QAnon lie that Democratic politicians are part of a shadowy cabal of pedophiles, Vice said.

Much of the conspiracy theorist’s content has also focused on vicious antisemitism, Gilbert reported. He has taken part in the “Blue the Jew” movement, where antisemites photoshop notable Jews blue to identify them, Vice added.

He has also claimed in Instagram posts that Jews are attempting to enslave the world and has endorsed material from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” – an infamous antisemitic conspiracy theory from the early 20th century.

In 2019, Vice reported, Longley achieved any QAnon influencer’s dream; he was retweeted by then-President Donald Trump. In that tweet, he falsely claimed that “Trump has not been impeached.”

But, following the January 6 insurrection, his Twitter account was suspended.

His banishment led him to establish the “We The Media” Telegram channel – one of the most popular forums for hardcore adherents of the discredited QAnon movement. It now has over 200,000 subscribers.

Longley’s clout in the QAnon world has also provided him with an opportunity to speak at an upcoming conference in Dallas, Texas.

The now-identified influencer will be speaking at the “For God & Country Patriots Roundup” Memorial Day weekend event alongside controversial attorney Sidney Powell, former national security advisor Michael Flynn, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Texas GOP chair Allen West, Vice said.

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Officials in Colorado and North Carolina pause distribution of J&J vaccine after minor adverse reactions

GettyImages 1231620333
ATHENS, OHIO, UNITED STATES – 2021/03/09: Athens City-County Health Department Director of Nursing, Crystal Jones, 52, loads syringes with the vaccine on the first day of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine being made available to residents. The Athens City-County Health Department collaborated with Ohio University to roll out the new Johnson & Johnson (COVID-19) Vaccine, which only requires one shot instead of two.

  • Less than 1% of Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients experienced adverse reactions this week.
  • But officials in Colorado and North Carolina are pausing their use of the shot.
  • An investigation is underway to see if there is an issue with the batch being used.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Officials in Colorado and North Carolina are pausing distribution of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine after a few people experienced minor adverse reactions this week.

As The Denver Post reported Wednesday, 11 people experienced reactions after receiving the J&J shot at a mass-vaccination clinic in Commerce City, just north of Denver. With over 1,700 having being given the vaccine that day, that comes out to less than 1%.

On Thursday, Peter Banko, CEO of Centura Health, which was distributing the vaccines, said the company would pause while public health officials investigate whether there is an issue with the batch, The Post’s Meg Wingerter reported.

There were no issues earlier in the week, Wingerter noted.

In North Carolina, public health officials in Wake County reported 14 people – out of more than 2,300 – experienced adverse reactions on Thursday. “Currently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are analyzing the vaccine lot and expect to issue guidance within the next two hours,” county officials said Thursday evening.

The reactions, while minimal, come after Johnson & Johnson was forced to scrap some 15 million doses due to a manufacturing error at a plant in Baltimore.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson told Insider it takes any adverse reactions seriously, saying it will “carefully assess the events” and share any findings with the Food and Drug Administration.

“There is no greater priority than the safety and well-being of the people we serve,” the company said.

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The ‘laughable’ comparison between Colorado and Georgia voting requirements

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Election workers validate ballots at the Gwinnett County Elections Office on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020 in Lawrenceville, GA.

  • Fox News and Republican politicians are comparing Colorado’s voting laws to Georgia’s.
  • But that comparison is “laughable,” said Paul Teske of the University of Colorado, Denver.
  • Colorado has fully embraced voting by mail, automatically sending ballots to all registered voters.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When Major League Baseball announced it was moving its All-Star Game from Georgia to protest new restrictions on voting, local Republicans and conservative media outlets bemoaned the rise of “woke capital” and created a false equivalence. Colorado, they said – the game’s new home – was really no better when it comes to voting rights.

“I think it’s a little bit laughable,” Paul Teske, dean of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver, told Insider of the comparison. “Colorado is such an easy place to vote.”

Georgia is not so easy, and it will now become more difficult.

Among other things, Georgia’s new elections law, passed by the state’s Republican-led legislature following a campaign by party leaders to paint the 2020 election as fraudulent, curtails the use of mail-in ballots. While before voters had up to six months before an election to request a ballot, they now have 11 weeks, and will have fewer drop boxes to cast their vote.

Crucially, people who vote by mail will also have to provide a driver’s license or other state-issued identification card, similar to the requirement for in-person voting. Previously, poll workers simply checked signatures to make sure they matched those on file – a process that, according to Georgia’s Republican elections officials, uncovered no real fraud.

That, according to GOP Gov. Brain Kemp, is no different than Colorado. In an appearance on Fox News this week, Kemp said he was confused by MLB’s decision to move its All-Star contest to Colorado where, “I’m being told, they also have a photo ID requirement.”

He was told wrong.

What counts as an “ID” in the Rocky Mountains is not the same as in Georgia. According to Colorado’s Secretary of State, acceptable forms of identification include not just those issued by the state or federal government, but those printed by colleges and universities. Don’t have one of those, either? Not a problem: the state also accepts utility bills, bank statements, and paycheck stubs.

In 2020, a super-majority of voters in Colorado cast their ballots by mail – all registered voters receive them automatically, as they have for years prior to the pandemic, with bipartisan support.

“The truth is Colorado’s election model works,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, said in a statement on Tuesday. “[T]he proof is in voter turnout, consistently among the top in the nation,” she said, adding the state is “grateful that MLB is giving us the opportunity to showcase how elections can be.”

Mail-in ballots can also be deposited at any time; as Colorado Public Radio notes, there is one drop box for every 9,400 active registered voters, available 24 hours a day. By contrast, the new law in Georgia actually caps the number of drop boxes for ballots to one per 100,000 voters, while limiting accessibility. It also requires Georgians to provide ID every time they vote absentee, not just when they initially register (the state, previously, compared signatures, as they do in Colorado).

Nevertheless, Kemp’s false claim was provided journalistic cover. Fox News, for example, published a story stating that, “As it turns out, Colorado also requires voters to show identification when voting in person.” The outlet’s Peter Doocy, at a White House briefing, likewise asked Biden spokesperson Jen Psaki if the administration was concerned about the MLB game moving to Colorado, “where voting regulations are very similar to Georgia.”

Psaki rebutted the comparison. “It’s important to remember the context here,” she added. “The Georgia bill is built on a lie.”

Indeed, the new Georgia law comes not after evidence of voter fraud – the state’s Republican elections officials uncovered none that would alter the outcome of the 2020 election – but a concerted effort by a former president and other GOP politicians to invalidate ballots cast for Democrats.

“It’s just abundantly clear, from the outside looking in, that they had some close elections but they lost,” Teske said, “and so the Republican legislature is looking to restrict voting in ways that they think will help them win elections in the future.”

“That is not a great way to have a democracy,” he added.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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The 10 best Airbnbs in Colorado, from a chalet with a sauna near Denver to a cabin with a hot tub in Durango

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

colorado airbnb mountains

  • Colorado is a scenic year-round destination for skiing, hiking, and outdoor activities.
  • Airbnbs across the state are particularly popular, so it’s best to book early.
  • There are currently no travel restrictions to enter Colorado, and experts say it’s safe to stay in an Airbnb.

Colorado offers an ideal year-round nature-filled vacation. The Rocky Mountains make it easy to ski, snowboard, or snowshoe in winter or hike during warmer weather. There’s also gorgeous fall foliage, and plenty of buzzy restaurants and world-class art in cities like Denver.

I’ve been spending much of the pandemic savoring Colorado’s wide-open, natural surroundings and I’m hardly alone. There are no COVID restrictions to visit Colorado and some of the best vacation rentals are being booked months in advance.

If you’re considering a road trip to the Rockies or getting a head start on planning a future trip, it’s never too early to consider your lodging. Here’s where to start.

Browse all the best Airbnb homes in Colorado below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

Here are the best Colorado Airbnbs, sorted by price from low to high.

A tumbleweed tiny home in Fairplay, $79

Tiny House mountain colorado airbnb

Book this tiny home in Fairplay on Airbnb starting at $79 per night

Designed and built by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, one of the leading tiny home companies, this all-pine-wood property is located in an RV and cabin site in Fairplay, the mining town made famous by the show South Park. In fact, not far from the rental is an open-air museum dedicated to the show. Breckenridge is also just a 30-minute drive away.

Like most tiny homes, this one is chicly designed to make the most out of its limited size via clever storage spaces and a loft bedroom with a Queen-size bed. There’s also a bench that serves as the unit’s main seating area that can be expanded into a twin bed for additional sleeping space. Heat, air-conditioning, and a decent kitchen with an induction stove are included as is access to community hot tubs (seasonal from Memorial Day to Labor Day).

Off-site, outdoorsy pursuits from hiking to fishing are never too far away. And considering the region’s history as a mining town, visitors can also try their hand at gold-panning.

This tiny home has plenty of open dates over the next few months, until the fall.

A cozy tiny house in Colorado Springs, $82

Carriage House Fort colorado airbnb

Book this house in Colorado Springs on Airbnb starting at $82 per night

Despite its smaller square footage, this thoughtfully decorated tiny carriage house packs in a lot of personality. Located just outside Colorado Springs’ newly blooming downtown core, this is a convenient accommodation choice if you’re looking to experience the region’s natural attractions such as Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak.

The “bedroom” of this studio is actually a sleeper loft accessed by a pipe ladder, which could potentially pose some mobility concerns. The main floor of the unit is nicely furnished with the original carriage-house door from the 1900s, faux fur couch throws, quirky framed artwork, and a midcentury console in the living room. There’s also a fireplace for cozying up during the colder months. The bathroom comes with a tub surrounded by subway tiles and the kitchen is small but has all the necessities, including a mini-fridge stocked with local beers.

The adjacent garden is accessible to guests. There’s also a fire pit, and herbs grown on raised planters are yours for the picking.

This studio has plenty of availability over the next several months beginning at the end of April.

A historic city home in Denver, $114

Historic Carriage House in Denver's Oldest Neighborhood airbnb

Book this home in Denver on Airbnb starting at $114 per night

This playfully decorated one-bedroom carriage house, which dates back to the 1800s, is an ideal home base for exploring Colorado’s booming capital city thanks to its central location. Parks, shops, restaurants, and public transportation are all within walking distance.

Despite its historic bones (there are beautiful exposed bricks throughout), this home has been updated with modern elements, including a dishwasher, air conditioning, Netflix, and heated floors (including in the bathroom). Perks like garden access, a hot tub, and a gym (shared with other homes on the property) elevate the experience.

But it’s the quirky interior decor that truly makes this house special. A repurposed dresser is now the bathroom counter, a license plate collage hints back at the property’s previous life as a garage, and wood-frame windows act as a wall that separates the bedroom from the living room.

This property has scattered availability over the next few months with more dates opening up for spring and beyond.

A midcentury hygge chalet in Grant, $176

The Hygge Chalet and Sauna Colorado airbnb

Book this chalet in Grant on Airbnb starting at $176 per night

One of Colorado’s most popular Airbnbs, this 1,400-square-foot, two-bedroom cabin is full of relaxing features for a self-contained vacation. Located in a semi-secluded forested pocket of Grant, a Platte Canyon town about an hour away from both Denver and Breckenridge, this home is as tasteful as it is tranquil.

The A-frame construction in vibrant blue hints at the design-forward interiors. But before you even enter the cabin, you might spot the steam sauna on the deck — one of the cabin’s signature amenities. Inside, there’s a midcentury lean to the decor. Furnishings are minimalist, textured, and have enough rustic touches to match the natural landscape outside. There’s a fireplace, memory foam Queen beds, and walk-in showers.

Outside, in addition to the sauna, seasonal add-ons include a grill and hammocks. Wi-Fi can be spotty given the tucked-away location, but there is a cabinet full of board games to keep guests entertained. Or, just hang out in the back deck, looking at the pretty mountain views.

Because of this rental’s popularity, it’s currently booked until late fall, but travelers who like planning ahead can find plenty for the end of the year.

A ski cabin with a hot tub in Durango, $181

Private cabin with hot tub Next to Purg Resort colorado airbnb

Book this cabin in Durango on Airbnb starting at $181 per night

In southwest Colorado, near the border of New Mexico, this rustic-chic two-bedroom cabin is conveniently located right next to Purgatory Ski Resort, a 1,500-acre ski destination popular among locals. In fact, the slopes are so close, guests can watch lift chairs swinging just over the deck. Though it’s not quite a ski-in/ski-out property, other active pursuits can be done right at its doors, including hiking, mountain biking, and snowshoeing.

While the cabin technically has two bedrooms, one is a lofted sleeping area. Interiors toe the line between vintage and rustic, with wood snowshoe wall accessories, pendant lights of exposed bulbs tied to thick knots, and lots of wood treated in a variety of finishes. There are also plenty of windows that provide spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. The cabin’s list of amenities also includes an indoor fireplace, a hot tub, and a cedar sauna. 

This cabin has open availability in the coming months.

A modern cabin in Pike National Forest, $232

Pikes Peak Resort-Wilderness Cabin Colorado Airbnb

Book this cabin in Pike National Forest on Airbnb starting at $232 per night

This newly renovated cabin in Pikes Peak Resort is a marriage of modern luxury and secluded rusticity. The cabin was treated to a recent comprehensive facelift to match the stunning Rocky Mountain views that surround it.

A three-bedroom, two-bathroom hideaway in the middle of Pike National Forest, the cabin is perched along a ridge overlooking a picturesque lake and meadow. The log construction offers up the ultimate in bucolic charm and even the bed frames are constructed with what could be blonde tree trunks and branches. The recent renovation included updating the outdoor deck, the bathrooms, plumbing, and flooring as well as installing a brand-new kitchen and the outdoor hot tub, which is perfect for star-gazing.

Considering the location in a national forest, staying here means quiet and seclusion. But more intrepid thrill seekers won’t have to venture far to find activities like mountain biking, ATV riding, fishing, and snowshoeing.

This cabin has very limited availability in spring, but dates open up starting in June.

A riverside A-frame in Basalt, $241

airbnb colroado Frying Pan River Aframe on private water

Book this riverside cabin in Basalt on Airbnb starting at $241 per night

For a discreet getaway, consider this red-roof A-frame cabin in the quaint town of Basalt, located 20 miles north of Aspen. It’s the epitome of country charm.

This one-bedroom refuge is nestled along the Frying Pan River on Dallenbach Ranch, a 140-acre expanse that is regularly visited by deer, big-horn sheep, and turkey. In addition to the cabin, guests are given access to a mile-long private section of the water, where catch-and-release fly-fishing for trout is permitted.

The accommodations are thoughtful but modest. There is a Queen-size bed, plus a pullout sofa in the living room, making it an ideal choice for a couple or small family. The cabin comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, an outdoor grill, and Direct TV. While cell reception is available, there is no Wi-Fi here.

This property has scattered availability in the next few months.

A four-bedroom cabin in Grand Lake, $248

Classic Colorado A-frame on the creek Airbnb

Book this cabin in Grand Lake on Airbnb starting at $248 per night

Surrounded by a few different lakes (including Columbine Lake and Grand Lake), this four-bedroom woodsy cabin is especially great for larger groups like multi-generational families or pods of friends. Its location near Rocky Mountain National Park makes it an equally ideal booking for outdoors enthusiasts.

There are four bedrooms with different bed configurations to accommodate as many people as possible. One is set up with three Twin beds, while another has a King bed and a Twin bed. The rental also has plenty of lounging spaces, such as two living rooms and large decks on both the front and back sides of the house. You can move the portable fire pit to either side. Convenient amenities like a washer/dryer and indoor fireplaces make long-term stays possible.

The interior decor provides a homey but global feel. The leather pouf ottoman, the Native American-inspired textile throughout, and patterned rugs are complemented with deer antler wall fixtures and minimalist coffee tables.

It’s important to note, however, that while this property is part of a residential community, on-site features like the clubhouse, the horse pasture, and the gazebo can’t be used by renters.

The cabin has plenty of open dates over the next few months.

A ski-in/ski-out penthouse condo in Breckenridge, $608

Ski-In/Ski-Out Penthouse in Downtown Breckenridge colorado airbnb

Book this ski condo in Breckenridge on Airbnb starting at $608 per night

As one of the country’s top ski resorts, Breckenridge’s accommodation pool fills up quite often. As far as rental options go, this stylish three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo (big enough to fit up to 10 people) is among the most popular, especially because you can ski in and out of the building.

Just yards away from Breck’s downtown core and Quicksilver SuperChair, the location is the biggest selling point. But within its four walls, there’s still a lot to complement a day on the mountain. Handsome decor includes wooden ski wall fixtures, vibrant area rugs, and lots of wood surfaces to reinforce the chalet inspiration. Both bathrooms have tubs, including a larger soaking tub in the master bathroom. There’s also a fireplace in the living room, and outdoor patios that overlook the Rockies.

Recreational amenities like the gym, outdoor fire pit, as well as a sauna and steam room are shared with the building.

This condo has open availability throughout the year, aside from the month of June. 

A modern glass house in Winter Park, $925

the glasshouse Colorado airbnb

Book this glass house sanctuary starting at $925 per night

This sprawling, three-bedroom mountain house is a splurge-worthy booking for families or traveling pods. Its location just outside Winter Park’s ski resort means the property is perched over gorgeous views of the trails and boasts easy ski access. For city time, Denver is just 70 miles away.

The striking interiors mean there’s much to enjoy before you even set foot outside. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer round-the-clock visual access to Winter Park’s stunning natural landscapes, not to mention tons of sunlight during the day. The open floor plan is layered with modern furnishings, such as bright, high-end leather couches and top-of-the-line kitchen appliances.

All three bedrooms come with en-suite bathrooms. Plus, the loft area is outfitted with a Queen-size pullout bed, allowing the house for a maximum occupancy of eight guests. Other perks here include outdoor lounges, a hot tub, and grilling equipment.  The host also makes himself available to assist with guests’ needs, from shuttle services to grocery delivery.

This property is available starting in April, well into next year.

FAQ: Can I travel to Colorado right now? Here’s what you should know.

How do I book a vacation rental home in Colorado on Airbnb?
You may search for homes on Airbnb and filter results based on location, price, date, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, amenities, and more. Once you’ve found a home you want to book, check for cancellation policies, and review your price in full. For more information on how to book on Airbnb, click here.

What is Airbnb’s cancellation policy?
Cancellation policies on Airbnb are different for every home and set by each host. For a full breakdown of Airbnb’s cancellation policies, click here.

Is it safe to stay in an Airbnb home right now?
Experts say that private home rentals on Airbnb are safe, especially when compared to hotels. They eliminate interactions with others, and hosts must follow enhanced cleaning procedures. However, there’s still an inherent risk to traveling and we recommend following CDC guidelines, practicing social distancing, double masking, and washing hands frequently.

Can I travel to Colorado right now?
There are currently no COVID restrictions for travel and entering Colorado, but be sure to read up on the most recent rules and regulations, and pay close attention to any restrictions implemented by the individual county you’re interested in visiting. Additionally, there is still no guarantee when it comes to safety with travel right now. We recommend following CDC guidelines including social distancing, wearing a mask, hand washing, and taking extra precautions when traveling to or from a COVID hot spot.

Is it safe to ski right now?

If you’re wondering if skiing during COVID is safe, we talked to experts about the potential risks. And with proper cautions, skiing and snowboarding can be considered relatively low-risk activities. Additionally, all of the Colorado ski areas have introduced new COVID-related safety precautions in coordination with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, so it’s a good idea to check each resort’s specific policies. You may also check Colorado’s statewide COVID-19 updates for additional details on infection rates, testing sites, and the recently renewed mandatory mask-wearing requirement.

Some common changes for the 2020-2021 ski season include mandatory face coverings, social distancing, advance reservations, cashless transactions, and reduced restaurant seating. Many resorts are also limiting capacity, especially for peak dates, so be sure to check your dates and book early. 

More of the best mountain getaways

Scenic Mountain Lodge on Sardis Lake, Clayton Oklahoma airbnb

Looking for more cool mountain homes and hotels to book? Here are some of the best places to stay:

 

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