Adams County Republicans withdraw recount effort in two races

(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
<p>Election workers Francis Barela, left, Frank Barela, center, process mail-in ballots at the Election Commission in Denver, Colo., in 2008.</p>
Photo: Mail in ballots Election 2014
Ballots envelopes sit in a bin inside a polling center at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's office on Election Day 2014.

Adams County Republicans abandoned their short-lived push for recounts in two close races early Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday, party officials gave the county a $32,000 check to cover the cost of reviewing a state House seat and a Commissioners race. But County Party Chairman Gary Mikes withdrew the recount request via email shortly before noon on Tuesday.

Mikes said his goal was not necessarily to overturn the results in those races. Instead, he said that he wanted to expose what he says are major flaws in the process for verifying ballot signatures.

He criticized the Secretary of State’s office for denying his request to visually inspect every ballot, adding that the county party can’t afford to retain a lawyer to sue the Secretary of State’s office for access to individual ballot signatures.

"They make it very hard for anybody to look at the system and verify that we have fair and honest elections," he said.

The Secretary of State’s office says because signatures are personally identifying information, members of the public can’t view them, even during a recount process.

However, the state plans to audit how Adams County, among other counties, handles ballot signature verification.