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TMCNet:  Votes still being counted, wrapup expected by Thanksgiving

[November 16, 2012]

Votes still being counted, wrapup expected by Thanksgiving

Nov 16, 2012 (The Gazette (Colorado Springs - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- All votes are in and the recent election should be certified before Thanksgiving, said El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams.

Deadline for overseas and military ballots to reach the clerk's office was 5 p.m. Wednesday. Voters who had signature issues on their mail ballots had the same deadline to resolve the problem.

"It's gone very well and we're about finished processing all of those," Williams said. "We should be done canvasing the day before Thanksgiving and make everything official then." Election day was Nov. 6 and Williams said about 12,000 ballots -- mostly provisionals -- still must be counted.


Another 4,673 mail ballots weren't tabulated by the computer on election day, Williams said.

"It's a good computer system and two separate processes each determined those ballots weren't counted when the system overloaded about 5 p.m. on election day," Williams said. "They'll be included in the final canvas." Williams said the only outcome that could possibly change is the Calhan ballot measure. The vote is 162-155 to approve a one percent tax increase on discretionary purchases to improve the town's roads.

"What takes so long to canvas is to make sure nobody voted twice," Williams said. "Once we go through everything and know who voted, we go through the provisional ballots and make sure nobody voted twice." He said there was "a significant increase" in provisional ballots due to people requesting permanent mail status but not voting by that method.

"A pleasant surprise was the popularity of our 24-hour drop box (outside Citizens Service Center)," Williams said. "We had to empty it more than we thought we would -- and that was a good thing.

"We think everything went well on Election Day but some polling places flowed better than others. We'll look back and see why and continue to try to make things better." The county had a record turnout of 276,745 voters by Nov. 6 but that number will grow to about 290,000 when all votes are counted. The election becomes official when approved by the Canvas Board, which has representatives from the major political parties.

-- Contact Bob Stephens: 636-0276 Twitter @bobgstephens Facebook Gazette Bob Stephens ___ (c)2012 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Visit The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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