Heading into the third day of the 2022 midterm election vote tally, Adam Frisch held on to his razor-thin lead over incumbent U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert Thursday morning, but thousands more ballots have yet to be counted.
As of 9:17 p.m. Tuesday, Frisch led Boebert by just 64 votes, the slimmest of margins at 50.01% to 49.99%, according to vote tallies from the Secretary of State’s Office.
And Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz confirmed to The Denver Post that his office, has yet to count about 1,200 in-person votes, 5,200 mail-in votes and is in the process of verifying the signatures of another 500 more ballots. Ortiz’s office is expected to filter updated vote counts to state election officials throughout Thursday.
The remaining votes could give Frisch the boost he needs to widen his lead, so far Pueblo County voters leaned toward the Democratic candidate from Aspen 54% to Boebert’s 46%.
But unless either candidate wins with enough votes, the race will trigger the state’s automatic recount process.
Colorado’s recount threshold sits at 0.5% of the leading candidate’s total votes, approximately 783 votes at the current turnout rate.
Whether any additional ballots remain to be uncounted across the rest of the state also remains unclear.
Word also spread online between journalists and politicos that more ballots remained in Mesa and Garfield counties, but representatives of both county clerks offices did not return messages seeking comment. Boebert would have an advantage with Mesa County ballots, but a disadvantage in Garfield County, where she lives.
In addition, ballots from out-of-state voters, including members of the military, can be counted until Nov. 16, which could sway the results of such a close race.
As of 9:41 a.m. Thursday neither candidate had declared victory or conceded. Frisch previously told The Denver Post that he was optimistic about his chances but the outcome was not yet certain.
Frisch, a former Aspen City Councilman, tweeted Wednesday night, asking voters to make sure ballots with any issues were fixed – “cured” is the technical term – with county clerks’ offices.
“As expected, this thing is coming down to the wire,” Frisch said. “Thank you for sticking with us! We’re feeling good & going to make sure every valid ballot counts.”
Boebert didn’t tweet at all Wednesday, an uncharacteristic move for the prolific Twitter user. But Thursday morning she jumped back on the social media platform, posting a meme about the election, which showed a cartoon character poking pictures of the two candidates with a stick.
“C’mon do something,” the meme says, a nod to the neck-and-neck race.
The close competition between Frisch and Boebert, who had been heavily favored to win, caught political scientists off guard. As more votes continue to trickle in, the outcome could certainly change.
“I’m just guessing at this point,” Seth Masket, a political scientist with the University of Denver said.
Even if either candidate takes the lead and surpasses the automatic recount threshold, the losing candidate could request a recount, though they’d have to pay for the effort.
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