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Colorado’s automatic recount law triggered in Boebert-Frisch U.S. House race

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Colorado’s automatic recount law triggered in Boebert-Frisch U.S. House race

Dec 01, 2022 | 10:24 am ET
By Chase Woodruff
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Colorado’s automatic recount law triggered in Boebert-Frisch U.S. House race
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Democrat Adam Frisch, left, and Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, right, are running for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District seat. (William Woody for Colorado Newsline)

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold on Wednesday formally ordered a mandatory recount of the results for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District race, pursuant to the state’s automatic recount law.

In the final tabulation of unofficial results, Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert led her opponent, Democrat Adam Frisch, by a 550-vote margin out of more than 326,000 ballots cast. Because Boebert’s apparent margin of victory is less than 0.5% of her total of 163,842 votes, a publicly-funded recount will take place.

“The results of the District 3 race reinforce the fact that every vote matters,” Griswold said in a statement. “Colorado voters have made their voices heard, and I am ordering this recount in accordance with Colorado law to confirm the will of the voters.”

Frisch conceded the race to Boebert on Nov. 18, noting that history suggests the recount is unlikely to erase Boebert’s 550-vote lead.

“We are not asking for this recount. It’s one the citizens of Colorado mandate through our election system,” Frisch said at the time. “However, the likelihood of this recount changing more than a handful of votes is very small — very, very small.”

In Colorado’s most recent high-profile recount, requested and paid for by indicted Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters after her loss in the 2022 GOP Secretary of State primary, results hardly changed at all. Peters, an election conspiracy theorist, gained just 13 votes, while the race’s winner, Pam Anderson, also gained 13 votes, leaving Anderson’s 88,579-vote margin of victory unchanged.

The last congressional race to trigger Colorado’s automatic recount law took place in 2002, when Republican Bob Beauprez narrowly defeated Democrat Mike Feeley in the newly created 7th District. Beuaprez entered the statutory recount process leading by 122 votes and lost just one net vote, with his election to Congress ultimately confirmed by a 121-vote margin.

Griswold’s order triggering the recount applies to the 27 Colorado counties within the 3rd District.

“The counties will begin recounting all ballots for the US House District 3 race in the same manner they were processed during the election, meaning all counties will rescan ballots using tabulation equipment with the exception of San Juan County, which will manually recount ballots,” the secretary of state’s office said in a press release.

Elections officials in each of the 27 counties are required to notify the secretary of state’s Election Division Thursday how long it will take to complete their recount procedures. State law requires the recount to be completed no later than Dec. 13.

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