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In a message to Ark Valley voice on Wednesday, Nov. 21, Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell indicated that certifying the results of the Nov. 6 general election could take until November 29. Mitchell estimated that voter turnout was close to 82 percent of the county’s more than 13,245 registered voters.

“We just did the risk limiting audit. All the counties need to complete the audit before we can complete the canvas,” said Mitchell. “The last day would be the 29th, and it might be sooner than that.”

Election results normally remain conditional until eight days after the general election date due to absentee voters, many of them U.S. Military personnel stations over seas. Theoretically that means normal vote certification should have been around November 15.  “Last year we got in 70 ballots that way. We hold back 25 ballots to cure with those late-arriving ballots to preserve anonymity,” said Mitchell.

The risk limiting audit is a Colorado state function, which ensures the integrity of the election. All 64 Colorado counties are required to complete the risk audit before the vote canvas can be completed. Given the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Mitchell said election judges weren’t available Thanksgiving Day or Friday, so the risk audit will be completed this week.