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Trump Is Wrong About 'Stolen Votes' in Colorado; Here's What Really Happened

Donald Trump
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a campaign rally in Albany, New York, April 11, 2016. |

Last Saturday, I was elected as the youngest woman national delegate from Colorado. Since Colorado's voting results were released, Donald Trump and his supporters have released a firestorm of criticism, threats, and rage.

I've been called too many names to count, and have been accused of accepting bribes, being bought by the establishment, and being a traitor to our nation.

Trump tweeted: "The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by the phony politicians. Biggest story in politics. This will not be allowed!"

He also said: "How is it possible that the people of the great State of Colorado never got to vote in the Republican Primary? Great anger — totally unfair!"

Kristi Burton Brown
Kristi Burton Brown is a pro-life attorney, volunteering for Life Legal Defense Foundation and also as an allied attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom.

However, Trump's failure to earn a single one of Colorado's 34 elected delegates (who were elected in a series of eight elections) is his fault and his alone. Colorado has followed the caucus system for years, and while the straw poll was canceled as far back as last August, straw polls have never been binding on Colorado's national delegation. Every Republican voter in Colorado has the right and the opportunity to show up one night each year and vote at his or her local caucus.

At this local caucus, delegates to the county, Congressional, and state conventions are elected. The voters can ask those running to explain their positions on issues or to say which presidential candidate they would vote for.

In my precinct, I made it very obvious that I would vote for Ted Cruz. I ran against a Donald Trump supporter, and due to the majority of voters in my precinct supporting Cruz, I won the position of state delegate. At the state convention, I represented my precinct's choice of Ted Cruz — not only by running for national delegate to vote for Cruz in Cleveland, but also by voting only for other national delegates who were pledged to Cruz.

I encountered another state delegate who explained to me that, while he personally preferred Cruz, his precinct had voted in their informal straw poll for Trump and Kasich. Therefore, he told me he could not vote for me or any other Cruz national delegate. He would vote to represent his precinct.

The Colorado caucus system truly is representative government at its best. While complicated, anyone who chooses to participate has a voice. Anyone who participates has the option to run themselves to represent their precinct at the next level. We have had this exact same system for years.

Trump has done his part to incite anger against Cruz and his supporters — who swept Colorado by following the rules and having an organized, on-the-ground campaign effort. While Trump toyed with the idea of showing up to the World Arena and wooing the delegates of Colorado, he ended up traveling elsewhere instead, basically resigning the state to a Cruz sweep.

Ted Cruz actually showed up to the state convention, speaking for twenty minutes and shaking the hands of attendees. His grassroots campaign in the state ran smart and saavy, organizing phone calls, choosing a slate of delegates, wearing bright orange shirts advertising their delegates, and publishing accurate literature about those delegates.

Trump's grassroots Colorado effort, on the other hand, was deeply lacking in coherence. Ballot numbers were wrong — not just on the first piece of literature printed, but on the second, too. And while the Trump campaign is complaining that the number of mistakes are due to state party error, a little known fact is that the Cruz slate had one-third of its members originally left off the ballot. But, due to the better organization of the campaign, the state party's mistake was caught in time, and the campaign ensured it was corrected.

How does Donald Trump think he has the right to tell Colorado that our system will "not be allowed"? He is not our king or dictator. We are a caucus state, that allows participation at every level.

I am the farthest thing from a party insider (having made the state party angry with me a handful of years ago with a pro-life campaign I ran.) And yet, because I chose to get involved and because Ted Cruz has an organized, involved, and smart campaign, I won one of the 34 spots for national delegates.

Donald Trump could have done the same thing. But instead of putting in the actual work it takes to win, he chooses to whine.

Kristi Burton Brown is a Christian, pro-life attorney. She has volunteered for Life Legal Defense Foundation and as an allied attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom. She enjoys being a stay-at-home mom and a wife to her favorite man in the whole world. She also writes for Live Action News .

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