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Testy tabs may delay Colorado vote count until Wednesday
Mail-in ballots are more facile in some ways, and more cumbersome in others. Denver officials said they may not have their mail-in ballots fully counted until Wednesday.

Testy tabs may delay Colorado vote count until Wednesday

By Tom Boyd

November 4, 2008 —  One vote, two vote, three vote, four – will Colorado be counting votes through Wednesday or more?

Eagle County residents can happily answer “no” ... or "not likely," to that question, thanks to the 12- and 16-hour work days logged by Clerk and Recorder Teak Simonton, her paid staff, and election volunteers. Eagle County is expecting to have no problem processing the mail-in ballots.

Not so elsewhere.

In Denver, for example, officials have prepared the public for the possibility that a flood of last-minute mail-in ballots may not be fully counted until Wednesday.

“About 196,000 people requested mail-in ballots,” explained Alton Dillard, spokesperson for the City and County of Denver’s Election Division. “The manual part, the preparation, is where we may see the delay.”

Election officials must tear away a tab which conceals a mail-in voter’s signature. The ballots are then moved to another room in the building to preserve the secret ballot. After more preparation, the votes are counted.

Denver’s vote may be critical to the overall outcome in Colorado. As a battleground state, Colorado may be in a position to decide the election.

A “perfect storm” of results could mean that America will have to wait for Colorado to finish tearing tabs and processing mail-in ballots to know who will be President in 2009.

Either way, Coloradans may be waiting for results on close regional races and ballot measures until Wednesday.



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