AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– People living in Aurora still don’t know who will be their next mayor. Even though Tuesday was Election Day, there is still some confusion with the ballots.

Coffman, a former Republican Congressman. has a narrow lead over Omar Montgomery, the former president of the Aurora NAACP.

Mike Coffman and Omar Montgomery

Mike Coffman and Omar Montgomery (credit: CBS)

The difference is 281 votes. On Friday, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold tweeted about 828 replacement ballots that remain in question. Griswold blamed the U.S. Postal Service.

“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 for an emergency, pickup these ballots and send them out, but they failed to notify us,” said Griswold.

The Post Office said it is not uncommon for replacement ballots to go out at the last minute and that carriers do work overtime on election days.

The U.S. Postal Service released this statement: 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.

“It’s exciting, I believe the city of Mayor deserves a good mayor and we’re in it until every single ballot is counted,” said Montgomery, the Democratic candidate for mayor of Aurora. “There’s still a path to victory and that’s the reason why we’re not conceding.”

The former president of the Aurora NAACP says all the votes in this race need to be counted, starting with cured ballots. Voters who have a signature discrepancy were mailed a letter and need to return it within eight days of the election. Montgomery wants to see all of those potential votes considered and then let the process play out from there. He knows that a recount is not required yet but wonders if that could change once all the ballots are included.

“It’s a wait and see, it’s a wait and see for the city,” he said. “I know some people have called this election but there are too many ballots out there that has to be counted before you go out and start saying victory has been made.”

CBS4 reached out to Mike Coffman’s campaign on Friday for an interview. His staff said the former Republican congressman would not speak on camera but they were considering a statement to release to the media. CBS4 did not receive a response from his campaign as of Friday afternoon.

Rick Sallinger

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