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Controversial Colorado secure voting PSA no longer airing on TV


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- For weeks, Democratic Secretary of State Jenna Griswold had been running a television public service announcement promoting the security of Colorado's elections. In doing so, she used more than a million taxpayer dollars to pay for them. However, the ads are now being pulled from the air.

A representative for Griswold told KRDO Wednesday that the ad buy had ended. According to Axios, the spot was set to air 5,000 times in the Denver, Colorado Springs, and the Grand Junction TV markets. It's unclear if that number was reached.

The funding for the ads came from the Help America Vote Act. According to Griswold's office, she is using less than 10% of the federally allocated money on the ads.

"One of the things you have to be careful of when you hold elected office is to balance the need to communicate, with the need to also make sure that you use taxpayer funds appropriately," Former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams said. "I was more cautious as Secretary of State."

The ad begins with Griswold and Williams standing together, with the pair saying, "Hi, I'm Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold," and Williams adds "I'm Wayne Williams, a Republican, and former Secretary of State."

With no disclaimer in the ads, Republican Secretary of State candidate Pam Anderson says it's more like self-promotion.

"It's not the message, it's the messenger," Anderson adds Coloradans should not be paying for an ad that features Griswold so prominently. Griswold's campaign should be.

"You could use this money for cyber navigators at the local level to complete and close the loop on the security of our voting systems. Not vanity projects for commercials."

Williams says he filmed the ads to support democracy and trust in Colorado elections, shooting them before the primary elections in June. That's when he thought they'd run.

"At that point, of course, the current secretary was unopposed in her primary," Williams said.

Despite still appearing in the ads, Williams is not voting for Griswold. In fact, he's standing next to her in those ads, but he's actually endorsing her opponent, Anderson.

"My preference would have been that this would have run much earlier in the cycle," Williams told KRDO.

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is the weekend evening anchor, and a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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