BY PETER JONES
Two local election winners were confirmed last week when Arapahoe County completed several recounts, including those for contested city council elections in Greenwood Village and Centennial.
All results for the 2017 election were also certified.
Per the recounts—in both cases paid for by the slightly trailing candidates—Centennial’s Marlo Alston was confirmed to have defeated Charlette Fleming in the city’s District 4 by 15 votes. In Greenwood Village, coincidently also in that city’s District 4, challenger Thomas Dougherty defeated incumbent T.J. Gordon by three votes.
The county completed legally mandatory recounts of close elections in Aurora, Bennett and Byers. The recounts did not change the outcome of any races or ballot questions.
Dougherty was sworn in Nov. 29. Alston will take office in January, per the Centennial Charter.
“We were proud to conduct an efficient, transparent and accurate recount,” Clerk and Recorder Matt Crane said. “Our elections workers re-scanned all of the 93,249 ballots cast in the 2017 coordinated election and tabulated the results in a single business day. Their efforts helped to keep costs low and provide a decisive outcome for citizens, candidates and jurisdictions who were awaiting the results.”
Recounts in Adams and Douglas counties were also relevant to Arapahoe because Aurora includes portions of all three counties.
The Arapahoe County Board of Canvassers met Nov. 21 to certify the election results. The board includes Crane, Arapahoe County Democratic Party Chair Mary Ellen Wolf and Republican appointee Myron Spanier.
The county also passed its first official “risk-limiting audit” of its election results on Nov. 18.
Colorado was the first state to conduct such an audit on a comprehensive statewide basis.
“Voters in Arapahoe County can have confidence in the integrity of our voting system and our innovative audit process, which proves that their vote was counted properly,” Crane said.
Final official turnout in Arapahoe County was 93,249 ballots, representing a more than 26-percent turnout of eligible voters. Only voters who lived in a municipality or district with a race or question on the ballot were eligible to vote and counted in those numbers. More than 99 percent of ballots cast were by mail.
The county’s calculations offered one other caution in anticipation of next year’s mid-term elections. More than 15,400 ballots did not reach the intended voter and were returned to the county due to an undeliverable address. Voters should check their registration and update their address to ensure they receive a ballot for the June 2018 primary at GoVoteColorado.com. Unaffiliated voters are now eligible to vote in primaries.
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