Thanks for the information. I wasn't able to get rid of the voltage to the wires going to the thermostat. I shut off the furnace with its combo on/off circuit breaker and pulled the fuse for the Furnace and still was getting the same voltage on the wires. Here's a picture of a thermostat like mine with the same wire colors:
For each wire I measured:
Red : +7.5 = 7.5V
Yellow: COOL = 7.9V
White: FURN = 10.4V
Blue: Hi FAN = 10.4V
Orange: FAN = 10.4V
Green: GND = Common I measured to.
Since I wasn't able to get the voltage off the resistance measurements were screwy but it definitely shows a short somewhere from what I see.
The part where I'm at now and am confused about is where those small gauge wires to the thermostat go? They go into the wall and yet if I look in the box where the furnace control board and valve and blower motor are all I see are large gauge wires and same is true in the power distribution box. Wondering if I need to start tearing the walls apart to trace the wiring.