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Don't be surprised if some Colorado election results change Thursday

Remember how the Colorado governor's race was relatively close on Election Night? The results have been changing over the last week, and it's now a double-digit blowout for Governor-elect Jared Polis over Republican Walker Stapleton.

There are seven races in six counties that are still close enough that ballots counted through Thursday could sway the decision.

What's that? Ballots are still being counted? But I thought the Election Day was Nov. 6.

There are eight races in six counties that could still be changed with ballots that are counted up until the county clerk's deadline on Thursday.

(One of the Las Animas County Commissioner races is missing from this chart provided by the Colorado Secretary of State's Office)

  • The Castle Rock mayor's race is separated by two votes, with Randy Reed leading Jason Gray.
  • The Sheriff's race in Ouray County is also two votes apart, with unaffiliated candidate Lance FitzGerald leading Republican Joel "BB" Burk.
  • In La Plata County, Democrat Clyde Church leads Republican Brad Blake by 28 votes for county commissioner, and funding for the Pine River Public Library District is losing by 10 votes.
  • In Las Animas County, Republican Felix Lopez is leading Democrat Dean Moltrer by 31 votes for county commissioner. Republican Tony Hass is leading Democrat Dan Ruscetti by 99 votes for county commissioner. There's also a bond issue for Trinidad schools is losing by 11 votes.
  • And a bond issue for Jefferson County Schools, which covers Jefferson and Broomfield Counties is currently ahead by 1,533 votes, that being is 1 percent.

If any of those results change, it's not because any funny business is going on. It's because elections don't end on Election Night.

Case in point. If you stopped paying attention to the Governor's race on Election Night, you would have thought Democratic Gov.-elect Jared Polis beat Republican Walker Stapleton 51 percent to 46 percent.

But the counting doesn't stop on Election Night. Since then, Polis has been credited with 437,172 more votes. He's now at 1,331,736, while Stapleton is up another 268,418 to 1,069,600, and all of that means Polis is now ahead 53 percent to 43 percent.

County clerks have until 11:59:59 p.m. Wednesday to accept ballots from voters who had no signature on their envelope or had their signature questioned, and ballots from overseas and military voters.

On Thursday, county clerks will start counting three types of ballots:

  • Ballots that were in envelopes that had signature verification issues that have since been "cured" by the voter, by signing an affidavit affirming it was their ballot.
  • Overseas and military ballots which can be received for eight days after the election, as long as it is postmarked by Nov. 6. This is the only time a postmark is valid.
  • Provisional ballots that were cast by voters who had issues with their voter registration.

The county clerks have until Thursday to send their unofficial results to the Colorado Secretary of State. Any race that is within half of one percent of the winner's vote total will go to an automatic recount. However, just because the ballots would be recounted doesn't mean the results should or will change.

"Typically, they'll come up the same, or worst case, maybe a vote or two different. It's very, very rare that it changes much," said Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz.

Klotz is prepared to have a recount for the mayor's race.

Colorado will have the official total and unofficial election results on Thursday.

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