DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Secretary of State is fuming at the United State Postal Service after it was discovered Friday morning that 828 ballots were delivered on the Tuesday afternoon of Election Day. It’s too early to tell if those ballots could have an impact on the still undecided Aurora mayor’s race.
“If we were alerted or if anybody knew that these replacement ballots were going out on election day there would have been a potential to ask for more time at polling locations,” Secretary of State Jena Griswold said.
The delayed replacement ballots were sent to voters in Denver and Arapahoe County. Of the 828, 664 were to residents who could have voted in the Aurora Mayoral race, which is still undecided.
“We have no reason to believe Arapahoe County did anything wrong here,” said Judd Choate, the Election Manager within the Secretary of State’s Office.
The ballots were printed in the Seattle area and put into the mail system on Oct. 30. The Secretary of State’s office believes the ballots were misplaced and mislabeled and that caused the delay.
The United States Postal Service believes the ballots weren’t mailed with the proper haste. But did send out carriers on Tuesday afternoon for an “emergency delivery.”
In a statement the USPS said, “All ballots — including replacement ballots — are printed and mailed by an out-of-state vendor. Due to this process, it is not uncommon for the Postal Service to handle replacement ballots through the election period.
On Tuesday, Colorado letter carriers received 838 replacement ballots. Letter carriers then ensured the replacement ballots were delivered before the polls closed through special runs. We are proud of the work our employees displayed through the election process.
We continue to work with election officials to generate processes for last-minute, replacement ballot requests.”
“The bottom line is that the Post Office understood that they had a problem on Election Day. They called all their carriers to come back and emergency pick up these ballots and send them out, but they failed to notify us. And there are things we could have done but we need to know the information,” Griswold said.
The biggest concern is the 664 ballots that were delivered Tuesday afternoon to Aurora residents. 141 of them either handed in their delayed ballot or voted in-person. The mayoral race is separated by less than 300 votes as of Friday night.
“We want to have a good relationship with the Postal service so that there are no problems Because what I hate, what I find so disappointing is that someone had barriers to voting. We don’t want that in Colorado,” Griswold said.