Colorado clerk: No evidence of mail-in ballot fraud

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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.

Photo: Mail in ballots Election 2014A Colorado election official says two days after the election that there's been no evidence of fraud related to the use of mail-in ballots.

Sheila Reiner, president of the Colorado County Clerks Association and Mesa County clerk, made the statement during CPR News' "Colorado Matters" on Thursday.

"The clerks association heard a lot of theories about the fraud that was out there surrounding the mail ballots," Reiner says. "We did a lot of communicating amongst the clerks. We've had a working group with the district attorneys. We've just really watched the statistics and the data and we haven't had any [fraud] that's been detected."

She also spoke about the long lines, voter turnout and other Election Day surprises.

Computer glitches on Election Day affected the statewide pollbook that all counties can use to verify voter eligibility in real time, Reiner explained. When that system had glitches, some voters were issued provisional ballots, which are harder for elections officials to count.

The long lines in Boulder county were harder to explain, but Reiner said newly registered voters probably were not the cause.

"I know that overall, in the entire state, there was 4,700 new registrants statewide [on Election Day] so that's really not very many really when you spread that out between 64 counties," she said, adding that many of those registrations occurred in Denver.

Overall, there was a "a slightly higher voter turnout" compared to 2010, Reiner said, but she didn't attribute the turnout entirely to the mail-in ballots sent to all registered Colorado voters this year.

Speaking with The Denver Post, Seth Masket, chairman of the University of Denver's Department of Political Science said mail-in ballots instead make it easier for "people who were going to vote anyway."

According to Reiner, in her own Mesa County and a few other counties, turnout actually decreased from the 2010 general election.

But for voters who worried about their mail ballots being counted, Reiner explained that the Denver Election Division was authorized to go to postal offices and to pick up any last-minute mail ballots for all counties.