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Edward B. Foley
Free & Fair is a collection of writings by Edward B. Foley, one of the nation's preeminent experts on election law.

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Colorado Secretary of State Race: Latest Count

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November 12, 2006

This morning TheDeverChannel.com reports that, as a result of counting absentee ballots in Denver yesterday, Republican Mike Coffman leads Democrat Ken Gordon by 27,893 votes (739,957 to 712,064), a margin of just under two percent of the total between them (1.92%).

An additional 18,000 absentee ballots in Denver will be counted today, as well as roughly 3000 provisional ballots tomorrow (Monday). There are also uncounted ballots from other counties, including Boulder and Pueblo, although their number is unclear.

Yesterday, the Denver Post reported reported there to be about 40,000 uncounted ballots from outside Denver, with Gordon acknowledging that it would be difficult for him to catch up.

One question potentially on the horizon is whether Gordon, if he does come up short after all the ballots are counted, would consider contesting the result of the election on the ground that, as the Denver Post observed today, “an unknown number of voters gave up” on Election Day because of long lines caused by the breakdown of the electoral system in Denver and elsewhere in the state. That breakdown has been described as a “total fiasco” and a “tsunami”, causing lines over 4 hours long in some places. This system failure has the potential to affect not just the Secretary of State race, but several other elections as well.