Adams County Officials Are Working On Fixing Incorrect Ballots Sent To More Than 17,000 Voters

October 16, 2019
Early ballots wait in bins to be sorted in the Denver Elections Division headquarters, Oct. 31, 2018.Early ballots wait in bins to be sorted in the Denver Elections Division headquarters, Oct. 31, 2018.David Zalubowski/AP
New ballots are being mailed to thousands of Adams County voters after an erroneous question was printed on the original ones.

New ballots are being mailed to 17,412 voters in Aurora.

Josh Zygielbaum, Adam County clerk and recorder is working with the county’s ballot-printing service to reissue the ballots. 

In the original ballot, voters were told to choose one candidate for the at-large city council race this year -- but there are two seats to be filled.  

The Aurora City Clerk’s office provided the same information to all three counties for ballot preparation to the Elections Department. 

Arapahoe and Douglas counties correctly tell voters to choose two of the six candidates. The Elections Department created the proof of the ballot with the mistake on it. That proof was sent and approved by the Aurora City Clerk and then sent to the printer. 

“Regardless of receiving approval from the city, this error should have never taken place,” Zygielbaum said in a press release. 

Corrected ballots will be in the mail by Friday. Voters should have it by early next week. Special instructions will be included in the corrected ballot envelope. 

According to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, only one ballot with the mistake has been returned so far.  

“We are urging Aurora city voters who live in Adams County to wait for their corrected ballots,” Griswold said.

If voters send in both ballots, the corrected version will be the only one counted. If voters only send in the incorrect ballot, election judges will  count those ballots. 

This is the second time in two years that Adams County has had problems with election ballots. 

Last October, about 61,000 voter ballots went missing and were a week late reaching voters. 

State Election Director Judd Choate said this was a standard problem. He has seen this happen before. 

“This particular problem where you have to vote for more than one candidate in a race will often happen because you’ll draw in the new data into an older format and that information won’t get changed,” Choate said.