Only About 1 In 5 People Who Received Late Arapahoe County Replacement Ballots Voted

November 15, 2019
Aurora mayoral candidates Omar Montgomery (left) and Mike Coffman. Aurora mayoral candidates Omar Montgomery (left) and Mike Coffman. Courtesy photo/David Zalubowski, AP
Aurora mayoral candidates Omar Montgomery (left) and Mike Coffman.

Only 141 people voted out of the 664 replacement ballots that were not delivered to voters until Election Day in Arapahoe County.

That means about 21 percent of those people voted, while Arapahoe County’s overall voter turnout was 43 percent. 

That may have had an impact on a very close Aurora mayoral race.

Former Rep. Mike Coffman won the race against Aurora NAACP President Omar Montgomery by only 215 votes. He declared his victory Thursday at a press conference nine days after Election Day. Not all of the more than 74,000 votes were counted at that point. 

According to Arapahoe County, there were no special accommodations made for people who received late ballots. If ballots were turned in by the 7 p.m. deadline, it was counted towards the final tally. If voters cast their ballots late, it did not go towards the final tally but did receive voter credit. 

The Secretary of State’s office is now reviewing what happened. 

According to spokesperson Serena Woods, the office was not notified of the incident until three days later when two senate candidates called. If the office had known on Election Day, Woods said they could have petitioned a judge to allow the polls to stay open longer.

The replacement ballots were sent out October 29 but a large portion of them lost their election mail designation tag.  That tag is what notifies the post office that its priority mail.

As of right now, the Secretary of State does not know how it lost that designation or how many of the 664 voters ended up not being able to vote because of the time restraint. 

“I would say that internally we are digging into what happened and trying to find out more information,” Woods said. “We would like to work with the postal service to find out more and make sure we have remedies for the future.”