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November 28, 2023

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Official Results for 2023 Coordinated Election Posted following successful Risk-Limiting Audit

Recount scheduled for December 5 for City of Boulder City Council contest


Boulder County, Colo. – The final official results from Boulder County’s 2023 Coordinated Election are now available at BoulderCountyVotes.gov.

The final official results include the Statement of Votes, a document that shows precinct-by-precinct results for each contest. The Statement of Votes will be forwarded to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office as part of the election closeout process.

Elections staff and the appointed Audit Board, composed of 9 republican representatives and 9 democratic representatives, successfully completed the Boulder County portion of the statewide risk-limiting audit (Nov 18) and as well as a risk-limiting audit on the ranked choice voting contest for the City of Boulder mayoral race (Nov 20). These are post-election tests that provide citizens with evidence that election results tabulated by our voting system reflect the actual votes cast by voters. The process reviews how a ballot’s votes were captured at the time it was processed by our voting system by comparing the actual physical ballots with their digital tallies captured at the time of processing. To perform the audit, the Secretary of State’s office assigns a random sampling of the exact ballots we must review out of all the ballots cast in an election.

Elections staff also completed the reconciliation process. This process provides the evidence for the Canvass Board to certify that the number of votes counted is equal to or less than the number of ballots cast and that the number of ballots cast is equal to or less than the number of eligible voters. The Reconciliation Report is also available online.

This year’s Canvass Board consisted of Boulder County Deputy Clerk Sydney Power and party representatives from the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Lynne McNamara represented the Democratic Party. Theresa Watson represented the Republican Party.

Tuesday afternoon via a remote conference, the majority of the Canvass Board certified the election results. Watson, representing the Republican party, declined to sign the documentation citing her personal concerns around Colorado’s use of secure 24-hour drop boxes and the signature verification judge training process. Both topics are outside the scope of the duty of the Canvass Board and her decision not to sign does not impact the certification. The canvass documents, audit documentation, and the Statement of Votes are available at BoulderCountyVotes.gov.

Now that the election results have been certified, Boulder County Elections will focus on preparing for the automatic recount of the City of Boulder City Council contest. If there is more than one person to be elected, an automatic recount is triggered when the difference between the votes cast for the candidate who won the election with the least votes and the candidate who lost the election with the most votes is less than or equal to one-half of one percent (0.5%) of the votes cast for the candidate who won the election with the least votes. The City of Boulder had 10 candidates vying for 4 open seats on City Council. The final official results show a vote difference of 47 votes between the 4th place candidate (Schuchard 14,412 votes) to the 5th place candidate (Brncic 14,365 votes). Thus, the difference between candidates is .00326… which is less than .005 or the .5% threshold, thus an automatic recount is required.

Following election statute and Secretary of State rule, the recount will consist of a full rescan of City of Boulder ballots, which also includes re-adjudicating ballots as needed. Ballot adjudication occurs when a voter changes their mind on a contest (or makes a mistake) and/or has conflicting markings on their ballot on a particular contest. Ballot adjudication is done by a bipartisan team of election judges using Secretary of State guidelines on how to interpret the voter’s intentions. During a recount, ballots with under votes (i.e., ballots with less than the maximum number of selections or ballots with no apparent voter markings within the target areas aka filled in bubbles) are also examined.

Prior to conducting the recount, the county must retest the voting system (a mini version of the Logic and Accuracy test conducted prior to each election). Then, the recount is expected to only take one day and is scheduled for Tuesday, December 5 with Wednesday planned as a contingency day if more time is needed. The Canvass Board is also set to reconvene on Wednesday afternoon to review the results of the recount. The county is required to complete the recount no later than December 8.

For more information and any additional updates, including the detailed recount times, see the Ballot Processing Election Night and Beyond section on our website, www.BoulderCountyVotes.gov.