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Counting of final ballots continues in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District

Friday is deadline for counties to finish tabulating ballots
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Posted at 12:21 PM, Nov 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-17 19:43:20-05

DENVER — Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District race is nearing its finalized ballot tally Thursday as counting of cured ballots and military and overseas ballots continues ahead of the Friday deadline to have every ballot tabulated.

After a couple hundred ballots were counted and added to the Secretary of State’s Office’s count, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert led Democrat Adam Frisch by 1,097 votes as of 11:45 a.m. Thursday. By 12:30 p.m., Boebert led Frisch by 1,088 votes, which was slightly down from the 1,122 votes she had led by for several days. As of 2:40 p.m., Boebert led by 723 votes, which lowered to 668 by 3:01 p.m., and 615 votes by 3:20 p.m. About a half hour later, at 3:45 p.m., she led by 557 votes. By 5:15 p.m., Boebert led Frisch by 551 votes.

The current 0.18% difference is inside the automatic recount margin of 0.5%.

But the cured and military ballots will continue to change the tallies for Boebert and Frisch until counting is finished Friday, and it’s possible the race is not called until the election is certified on Dec. 5 depending on how close the count is.

If Boebert and Frisch are separated by 0.5% of the top vote getter, the race would automatically go to a recount, which would have to be completed by Dec. 13. Candidates can also request a recount, which they would pay for, before Dec. 6, which would have to be finished by Dec. 15.

The Pueblo Chieftain’s Anna Lynn Winfrey reported Thursday morning that Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz said Pueblo County was hoping to finish counting Thursday afternoon and that there were hundreds of cured ballots returned.

Earlier this week, around 420 ballots out of 725 that needed to have signature discrepancies fixed had been returned and cured, Ortiz said.

There has been a large push from all sides for voters who needed to cure their ballots – verify their signatures – because of how close the race is. Some Puebloans expressed frustration and annoyance about the curing push from campaigns.

Friday is the deadline for counties to finish tabulating ballots and is also the day the random 20-digit seed for the Risk Limiting Audit will be generated.

County audit boards will have until Nov. 29 to report the results of the Risk Limiting Audit to the Secretary of State’s Office, and canvass boards will have to submit the official vote abstract to the office by Nov. 30.

Democrats have already taken five of Colorado’s congressional seats this election to the Republicans’ two. And though Republicans have already clinched a U.S. House of Representatives victory, flipping Boebert’s seat would further narrow Republicans’ majority. As of noon Thursday, Republicans held a 218-211 lead, with 16 races that have yet to be called.