Updated 9:33 pm, November 17, 2022
The congressional race in Colorado’s 3rd District appears set to go even further into overtime.
Final vote counting on Thursday has shrunk Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert’s lead over Democratic challenger Adam Frisch to fewer than a thousand votes, pushing it under the threshold for an automatic recount.
Colorado law mandates a recount if the margin of votes in a race equals less than half a percent of the votes received by the leading candidate. However, it will be a while before the state makes it official — the Secretary of State officially certifies the vote count on Dec. 5, and only at that point will she order any automatic recounts.
But as of Thursday afternoon, that result was looking more and more likely.
Clerks in the 27 counties that make up the 3rd District have spent the day tallying their final ballots, which came from a mix of sources — military and overseas voters, ballots that were originally uncountable but were fixed by voters, and some regular ballots held back to ensure the final counts are fully anonymous.
As of 5 p.m. Thursday evening, only a handful of rural counties still hadn’t reported their updated results. It looks unlikely that those areas, which have voter bases in just the hundreds or thousands, could widen the race enough to take it out of recount range.
If historical precedent holds, a recount is unlikely to change more than a handful of votes.
A statewide recount in the GOP Secretary of State primary netted each candidate about a dozen votes, but only because one county found a box of uncounted ballots.
Boebert noted the small impact past recounts have had when when she took to Twitter Thursday night to declare, "We have won this race!"
"With this victory, and with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, we can focus on the issues that actually matter most, including getting inflation under control, increasing our domestic energy supply, securing the southern border, and being as a strong check on the White House," Boebert said in a video shot in front of the U.S. Capitol. "Come January, you can be certain of two things: I will be sworn in for my second term as your congresswoman, and Republicans will finally turn Pelosi's House back into the people's house."
For his part, Frisch on Thursday morning thanked the volunteers who worked to cure ballots and tweeted, "The outpouring of support from around the country and even the world since Election Day has been overwhelming & humbling. Running in this race, getting to know so many people in my district & hearing your stories has been an honor of a lifetime. Stay tuned."
On Thursday Frisch also filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run again in 2024.
More 3rd Congressional District coverage:
- Wait, so why is it taking so long to count votes in Colorado? Here’s why — and other ballot counting questions, answered.
- Frisch is a moderate Democrat and former Aspen City Council member. He made a centrist pitch to voters as he faced an uphill battle in District 3.
- Read our full November 2022 interview with Adam Frisch. He talked about ballot curing, voter turnout and whether he’s "Democratic enough."
- It quickly became clear on Election Night that hardline conservative Rep. Lauren Boebert would face a tougher-than-expected reelection race.
- Efforts from both parties to reach voters who needed to cure their uncounted ballots quickly ramped up. Some voters felt like all the calls, emails and even door-knocking bordered on harassment, while others were pleased to be at the center of things.
- Who made Lauren Boebert’s reelection so tough? It wasn’t the result of a tsunami of Democratic voters. In the 3rd Congressional district, Democrats were about 3% less likely to vote than Republicans.
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