District 3 voters react to potential Lauren Boebert upset by Democrat Adam Frisch

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The day after Election Day in Glenwood Springs, the front page of the Aspen Times reflects the uncertainty of the race on the the 3rd Congressional District between incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert and her Democratic challenger Adam Frisch.

Updated 10:51 a.m., Nov. 10, 2022

Residents of Colorado’s vast 3rd Congressional District woke up Wednesday without knowing who will represent them in Congress for the next two years: incumbent GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert or former Aspen city councilman Adam Frisch.

“I voted for anybody but Boebert,” Puebloan Tom Carpenter said. “I've been a Republican since Carter and Boebert was just a total embarrassment to me.”

Joel Carpenter, Tom’s brother and a Democrat, shares his unhappiness with the congresswoman.

“Boebert is a joke. She's a bad joke … It's a sourness in this country that she represents. I'm sure normal, middle-of-the-road Republicans just could not vote for her.”

Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
Pueblo voters Joel Carpenter, Tom Carpenter and Charlie Cousins chat at a table outside a popular downtown Pueblo coffee shop on the day after Election Day 2022.

Where the vote counting stands

As of 10:50 a.m. on Thursday, only a few hundred voters separated the two candidates, with counting continuing in Pueblo County in particular.

Frisch held a lead in the race through most of Wednesday, but it narrowed. The two exchanged leads of fewer than 100 votes throughout the evening. As of early Thursday, Boebert had opened a slight lead, but the numbers are likely to keep changing.

The ballots that remain to be counted are generally ones that were returned on Tuesday. Because some conservative figures were urging Republican voters not to go to the polls until Election Day itself, those ballots may favor Boebert more than the earlier returns.

Both candidates are urging their supporters to stay patient.

“We know that a lot of Republicans have waited for today to vote,” Boebert told her crowd at the watch party Tuesday night. “They're doing that in Mesa County. They're doing it all over Colorado's third district.”

In a statement Wednesday, Frisch said his campaign is waiting for every vote to be tallied. 

“We still have a lot of work ahead as ballots are still being counted. It is my deepest honor to have received so much support from the people of Colorado’s wonderful 3rd District,” he wrote.

If the margin stays this tight, this ballot count won’t be the final stage.

Both campaigns will get lists of voters whose ballots couldn’t be counted for some reason and will try to get them to cure, or fix, the problems.

“Yep, we’re looking at curing,” a spokeswoman for Frisch’s campaign said in a text message.

Curing is usually reserved for ballot envelopes that come in without signatures, or where the signatures can’t be verified. Ballots with physical damage, such as tears or stains, are also eligible to be cured.    

County elections offices will kickstart the process by reaching out to voters via text, phone or mail. The window to respond is eight days after Election Day. If voters don’t respond, their ballot will not be counted. 

Ballots eligible for curing typically make up a small percentage of the total turnout. In many counties, about 2 percent of envelopes trigger a cure letter. 

If the final results bring Boebert and Frisch within half a percent of each other, it will trigger an automatic recount of the race. If the final margin is larger, either campaign can still request to have ballots counted again, but will have to pick up the cost.

In Pueblo, Carol Plymell voted for a straight Republican ticket including for Boebert.

“I think she was doing a good job, but I don't think she got reelected, though,” Plymell said Wednesday. “It is close, but I was hoping that she would've won.” 

Plymell said she isn't concerned about the integrity of the election.

CPR's Megan Verlee contributed to this reporting.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with current vote totals.

Editor's note: A previous headline to this story included a quote from a District 3 voter. To clarify, the quote was not reflective of a position of CPR News. A new headline has been added for clarity.