Secretary of State blames Postal Service for not delivering ballots

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Published Monday, November 11, 2019

By Derek Draplin | The Center Square

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said Friday that hundreds of replacement ballots weren't delivered to voters until election day, placing blame on the U.S. Postal Service and calling for reforms to the state's election laws. 

Griswold said 828 replacement ballots in Denver and Arapahoe counties were delivered to voters by USPS on Tuesday (election day, November 5) without notification. USPS received the ballots as early as November 1.

A state election official said 664 of the replacement ballots included the Aurora mayor's race between former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman and Omar Montgomery, which as of Friday night had a 280 vote difference in favor of Coffman, who at one point was up by eight percentage points. The official said that of those 664 ballots, 141 votes were made in that race, and 45 of those people ended up voting in person. 

"USPS did not notify our office of this issue, even though they were aware of the problem," Griswold said. "Our state's election model allows eligible Coloradans to vote in-person, and we are hopeful that all of these voters participated in the electoral process."

Griswold added that her office is now looking at reforms to prevent similar incidents in the future. 

"We are exploring regulatory and legislative options to prevent this from happening in the future," Griswold said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The ballot issue will not affect the results of Proposition CC and Proposition DD, which were both outside the margin of the 828 ballots.  

Marshall Zelinger of 9News reported that USPS disputed Griswold's statement, and that "clerks could have printed ballots locally instead of from Seattle" and "paid for slowest mail delivery possible instead of a priority delivery."

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