2018 Primary Election Info

For information regarding the 2018 Primary Election such as dates, times and locations, please follow the link: 
2018 Notice of Primary Election

2018 Primary Election Results

County Election Department

Press Release dated July 19, 2018
Re: 2018 Primary Election Results

Twenty-Two days after the Primary Election, the results are final and certified in the Republican Primary for Commissioner, District 2.. The certified results show Commissioner Candidate Pettitt with 2995 votes and Commissioner Candidate Hartsook with 2993. The path and timeline to these results were governed by Election Statute and Election Rule, and are standard throughout the State of Colorado.

When ballots were finished being tabulated on June 26, 2018 (Primary Night), Candidate Pettitt held the lead with an 8 vote margin. After waiting the prescribed time for signature discrepancy cures, overseas and military votes to be returned due to their extended return times, those ballots along with ballots that had been dropped off in other counties were tabulated on July 5, 2018. When all those ballots had been tabulated, Commissioner Pettitt maintained the smallest lead possible at 1 vote. The total number of ballots received and counted at this point was 7953. There would be no more ballots accepted after this deadline.

The following day, July 6, 2018, the County conducted its Risk Limiting Audit. This is a standard audit conducted after each election to verify the outcomes of the Election. The Secretary of State’s Office notified the Clerk and Recorder’s Office that the County had successfully passed the Audit in the first round.

The County was then able to move on the Canvass process on Monday, July 9, 2018. This year the Canvass Board, made up of Jim Duvall, Chair of the Elbert County Democratic Party and Carol Hinds, Secretary for the Elbert County Republicans as well as the Clerk and Recorder. The responsibility of the Canvass Board is to verify that various reports balance and ensure each ballot received during the Election is accounted for. This year the reports showed that every single ballot returned was accounted for: a 100% balanced election.

Until the results were certified the Clerk and Recorder could not officially call for a recount. A one vote margin is well within the margin to require a mandatory recount. After receiving notification from the Secretary of State’s Office that Elbert County was the only county with a mandatory recount, the Clerk’s office determined that July 18, 2018, would be the date for the recount.
The recount was conducted on July 18, 2018. The procedure for this recount was to rescan every single ballot. Election judges and the Canvass board scanned these ballots. At the end of the scanning, the number once again showed that 7953 ballots were scanned, a perfect duplication.

From there ballots that were under voted (no votes for this contest), over voted (both candidates voted for) or had ambiguous marks were looked at by everyone in the room to verify voter intent on each ballot in a process called adjudication. This is the same process done during the Election, with the exception adding under voted ballots on this specific race. At the completion of the adjudication process Candidate Pettitt increased his lead to 2 votes. All ballots that were adjudicated were observed by multiple people with a consensus reached on voter intent on all the ballots.

Also present was Dwight Shellman, County Support Manager for the Secretary of State, as an observer. At the conclusion of the day, Mr. Shellman praised staff, Canvass Board and Election Judges and relayed to the Secretary of State, Wayne Williams and Director of Elections for the State of Colorado, Judd Choate of the excellent job that the Elbert County team did in conducting this recount. He concurred that every judgment call made by the group was correct.

Immediately following the recount, the Canvass Board, being confident that the results were correct, certified the recount.

Clerk and Recorder, Dallas Schroeder, had nothing but praise for Elections Manager, Rhonda Braun and Elections Assistant Rachel Buchanan, the Canvass board and the Election Judges who participated in the 2018 Primary Election. He stated, “Our goal from the first day of Election Judge Training is to stress the importance of having a common goal, regardless of party, to count every vote and count it correctly. We did that. We also stress that politics do not belong in the processing room and the judges respect that. The atmosphere created is one of cooperation and dedication to common goal of getting the job done right. We did that. I couldn’t be more proud of the effort put forth by all those involved.”

As a result of the recount Candidate Pettitt will be placed on the ballot in the November general election, where he will be unopposed.

Please contact the Clerk and Recorder with the contact information at the top of this page or the Elections Department at 303-621-3127 for further information about the recount.

Press Release dated July 6, 2018

Press Release -- For Immediate Release -- July 6, 2018
Re: 2018 Primary Election Results

According to Colorado State Statutes and Rules issued by the Colorado Secretary of State governing elections, the Elbert County Clerk and Recorder’s Office completed the tabulation of all ballots received by statutory deadlines. This includes all ballots that had “signature cures” and overseas and military ballots. There will be no more ballots accepted in the 2018 Primary Election.

The Republican Primary contest for Commissioner in District Two, was the only race that was left to be determined after all ballots had been tabulated. The results were razor thin with Rick Pettitt leading Anthony Hartsook by a single vote; 2,994 to 2,993. These are still UNOFFICIAL RESULTS.

Beginning July 6, 2018, the Clerk and Recorder’s Office will be conducting a Risk Limiting Audit (RLA). The RLA Board (administered by Election Judges and the Appointed Audit Board) pulls a sampling of specific ballots ordered by the Secretary of State’s Office to verify that our equipment is functioning properly. The Secretary of State sets the parameters for the RLA. If you would like a more thorough explanation of a Risk Limiting Audit, please view the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysG4pFFmQ-E&t=1160s

The RLA may extend past the first round for a variety of reasons, not all of which are dependent on our RLA in Elbert County. This creates a fluid situation where we cannot know the exact date at which the RLA will be concluded.

After the RLA is complete, we move on to the Canvass of the Election. At this point in the Election cycle, the appointed Canvass Board is given access to the various reports of ballots received, counted, etc… and after they are satisfied that the Election was accurately accounted for, they will certify the Election, along with the Clerk and Recorder. The Audit Board and Canvass is comprised of one Democrat and one Republican from each of the respective party’s Executive Board.

Once again, dates are fluid, except that the RLA must be complete by the 17th and the Canvass by the 18th of July. The one vote margin in the Commissioner results fall within the threshold to be a mandatory recount. We will then schedule the recount and notify both candidates of that date. The recount must be completed by July 31st 2018, although, the Clerk’s office anticipates a much earlier time frame to complete the recount.

Expectations in the tabulation room include keeping politics out of the discussion and the goal is that every single ballot returned is accounted for at the end of the election. The judges deserve high praise for doing exactly that; every single ballot received is accounted for and there are no anomalies which resulted in a 100 % balanced election.

Leading up to this Election, the Clerk and Recorder invited each candidate by mail to attend the candidate information night and/or the public Logic and Accuracy testing of the voting equipment. Candidate Norton attended the candidate information night and Candidates Pettitt, Hewlett and Murphy attended portions of the Logic and Accuracy testing. The purpose of these meetings and personal invitations is for the candidates unfamiliar with the election process to fully understand what happens throughout the election cycle and to foster a working relationship with each candidate so they are comfortable asking questions and are confident in the system.

The Clerk and Recorder gives high praise to the excellent work done by the Election Department Staff in working with candidates, the attention to detail in preparing the Election and unwavering dedication to the process to make sure each voice is heard and reflected in the results.

The Clerk and Recorder also gives high praise to the excellent work done by the Election Judges in the tabulation room and their dedication to the process and desire to do everything perfectly, which they did.

Elbert County should be proud of the dedicated individuals (judges and staff) who serve in the area of Elections as the guardians of each individual’s right to vote. They do a spectacular job.

Please stay tuned to the County website and the Clerks twitter account (@ElbertCoClerk) for additional information.

Press Release dated 06/28/18

Press Release – For Immediate Release – June 28, 2018

Re: 2018 Primary Election Results

Election Day for the 2018 Primary Election was June 26, 2018. All ballots are required to be returned by 7:00 PM, on Election Day. Election Judges work in a meticulous, organized and dedicated environment to ensure every ballot returned on time will be counted. Initial results were posted on the Elbert County website at 7:16 PM, election night and 2 more subsequent uploads were processed before the Election Officials went home for the night. It is important to know that these are UNOFFICIAL RESULTS.

At the end of the night, we had a Republican Primary Commissioner race that was only separated by 8 votes. The purpose of this release is to inform the public of the next steps that will take place in determining the winner of the Commissioner race.

All the steps that will be outlined below are standard practices across the State of Colorado.

UOCAVA (overseas and military voters) ballots will be accepted if postmarked or transmitted by 7:00 PM on Election day and received by July 5, 2018. Voters who have had their signatures rejected by the Election Judges, or who didn’t sign their ballot are sent a letter informing them of the situation with their ballot and they also have until July 5 to “cure” their signature. History has proved in Elbert County we will have a small number of these “cures” or late UOCAVA ballots. Our practice is to hold back a small number of ballots at the end of the Election night. These ballots are then mixed with the small number held back on Election night to ensure voter anonymity of every voter.

The way State Statute reads, a voter does not have to return their ballot to their County Clerk, but to any County Clerk in the State and as long as it is received by any County Clerk by 7:00 PM on Election night, it becomes the County Clerk’s responsibility to make sure the ballot is date stamped and forwarded to the correct County. This Election, so far, we have received ballots that were dropped off in Douglas, El Paso, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Adams Counties.

Denver County also provides a service to the majority of Counties in the State. Since almost all of Colorado’s mail is now routed through Denver, Denver Elections goes to the downtown sorting facility before 7:00 PM on Election night and picks up all the ballots, regardless of County, and secures them at their facility. They then notify the respective Counties if they have some of their ballots. Accommodations are then made for those ballots to be transferred to the correct County.

We know that we have received from the other Counties more than excess of 200 ballots so far that will need to be processed. We held back just over 50 ballots on Election night. Given that, we know we have over 250 ballots yet to process. We do not know a final number at this time because we do not know if other Counties are returning ballots to us or how many people with signature issues will “cure.”

The first chance we now have to finish tabulating these ballots is after 5 PM on Thursday, July 5th. On that evening, we will bring in Election Judges to finish processing these ballots and we will upload an update to the Election Night Reporting site. These will still be UNOFFICIAL RESULTS. After this happens across the State, we must still do our Risk Limiting Audit and Canvass to certify the Election. This must occur by July 17th and July 18th, respectfully. After a successful completion of the Risk Limiting Audit and Canvass, the Election will be certified.

With this particular race so close, the likelihood of a mandatory recount is very high. We will put out information on the recount if and when it becomes necessary. Recounts must be complete by July 31st, 2018. That means that it could be towards the end of the July before a certified winner of the Republican Primary Commissioner race in District 2 is determined.

Please stay tuned to the County website and the Clerks twitter account (@ElbertCoClerk) for additional information.