Boulder election results not certified by canvass board -- only county rejection in Colorado

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For her part, Hall says there are several simple explanations for perceived discrepancies between votes counted and ballots cast. She says that polling places can serve multiple precincts and in some cases, election judges gave out the wrong precinct ballots to voters. Ballots were ultimately counted in the correct precincts, which could lead to the false perception that there were more votes counted than ballots actually cast, she says.

"It balances out," Hall says. "Absolutely, there were no more ballots than people. And we tried to be transparent and present information as it came in."

She says, "There was no legitimate reason this election should not have been certified."

In some of their complaints, like concerns over the scrutiny of the signatures, Hall argues that the canvass board members refusing to certify the race are complaining about issues outside the scope of the board.

"Frankly, it's very disappointing," says Hall, who argues that this refusal to certify the election is tied to their dislike of mail-in ballots. "I don't think they...had any intention to certify the election.... I know in their minds they are doing a service to the community, but I disagree. I think they are doing a disservice to the community by using their positions on the canvass board to express their dislike of how the majority of people in Colorado choose to vote [through mail-in ballots]."

It has been an overwhelmingly successful election in Boulder, says Hall. "And this overshadows that.... We had a record turnout.... The community came together and everyone felt it was important to vote and they did, and this puts a smudge on all these efforts."

But Eberle says the potential errors and lack of oversight are great enough that it could impact the local races for county commissioner, taxes, house races, etc.

"It's obviously not going to overturn the outcome for the presidential race," she says, "But the smaller races are the more vulnerable ones."

So what's the impact of the refused certification?

Not much, says Hall, who explains that the election results now go to the Secretary of State's office, where staffers will have to review the complaints from the canvass board. Afterward, the office can certify the Boulder election. We left a message with a Secretary of State spokesman for further clarification and will update this post when we get a response.

"This has no impact on the outcome and the election results," Hall says. "We will work with the Secretary of State...and I have no doubt our results will be certified."

But to those opposing the results, that's part of the problem -- that Secretary of State Scott Gessler can essentially rubber-stamp the results, diminishing the authority of the canvass boards to audit the elections and ensure the integrity of the results.

Marilyn Marks, an activist who has been very critical of some of the ballot processes this cycle through her organization Citizen Center, sees it as problematic that Gessler has so much authority to certify the results -- even if the canvass board disagrees.

"It gets to be pretty darn scary," she says. "No one person should have that power."

Continue for the full letter from the canvass board and a response from the County Clerk and Recorder of Boulder.

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Sam Levin
Contact: Sam Levin