National GOP, Democratic groups dispatch to Colorado for final count of votes

National Democratic and Republican groups have deployed to Colorado’s 3rd congressional district to help locate voters whose ballots need “curing” as control of the US House of Representatives may depend on the outcome of the US Republican- Rep. Lauren Boebert and Democrat Adam Frisch could hang out with former Aspen City Councilman.

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Boebert, who is seeking re-election for her second two-year term, led by about 1,100 votes, or less than a percentage point, ahead of Frisch as of Monday morning. A few votes will be tallied by Friday and the race is unlikely to be called until the end of the week – at the earliest.

The Democratic Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of the US Democratic House of Representatives, has staff on the ground in Colorado, as does the Republican National Committee.

The groups are trying to help the potentially thousands of voters in the 3rd Circuit whose ballots were rejected due to signature discrepancies. Voters have until Wednesday to fix these errors through a process known as healing.

It’s unclear Monday how many ballots were rejected in the 3rd Precinct and how many can be cured or have already been cured.

MORE: Thousands of Colorado ballots are rejected each year. Here’s what happens if there’s a problem with yours.

Officials in the 27 counties in the 3rd District, which stretches across the western slope to Pueblo and Southeast Colorado, also have until Wednesday to accept ballots from military and overseas voters, provided they are received by Nov. 8, Election Day , have been stamped.

All votes must be counted by the end of Friday.

Recounts, if requested and paid for by a candidate, must be completed by December 15th.

As of now, the race in the 3rd district is outside the obligatory counting room. A state-funded automatic recount is triggered under Colorado law when the number of votes separating the two candidates is less than 0.5% of the number of votes cast for the lead candidate.

While Democrats have secured control of the US Senate, it’s unclear if they or the GOP will have a majority in the US House of Representatives when Congress reconvenes next year. The Boebert Frisch race is one of several unresolved contests that could decide which side calls the shots.

“The main thing we want to get across is that there’s no point in hitting the refresh button before Thursday or Friday,” Frisch told The Colorado Sun. “I know it’s frustrating for everyone.”

Frisch said he felt like he was still in the fight. He will attend the orientation for new members of the US House of Representatives in Washington this week to prepare for a possible win, he told Colorado Public Radio.

Boebert, meanwhile, is raising campaign funds for a possible recount and has installed former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, to help oversee the count of the outstanding ballots.

“I need you to ensure we have the resources to finish what we started!” Böbert tweeted Friday.

Much attention was paid to vote counting in Pueblo County, the most populous county in the 3rd Circuit. Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz, a Democrat, Pueblo County clerk, told the Colorado Sun Monday that his office had completed the counting of all ordinary ballots and that it had fewer than 1,000 ballots to count, including about 125 military and federal ballots Overseas voters and fewer than 500 ballots healed.

Ortiz said the county expects a final count by Thursday.

Still, Pueblo is one of 27 counties in the 3rd district, and it’s unknown how many military and overseas and healed ballots each will be counted by the end of the week.

Frisch estimates there are still up to 5,000 votes to be counted, but it’s unclear what that number is based on.

The narrow lead in the 3rd Circuit was unexpected as the district is leaning heavily in Republican favor. The tight contest suggests that Boebert’s constituents are fed up with the controversies of congressmen during their two years in Washington.

The 3rd Circuit has not sent a Democrat to Congress since John Salazar was re-elected in 2008.
Colorado Sun staff Elliott Wenzler contributed to this report. Colorado Sun Editor David Krause contributed to this report.