Election Day has passed but the race is still on in three Jefferson County races.
Tightest of the races is the one for District 2 county commissioner. With all 262 county precincts reporting, appointed incumbent John Odom leads challenger Casey Tighe by only 133 votes.
“It’s exciting. We just need to count up all the ballots and see who won,” Tighe said.
Odom said he had no comment on the state of the election, only that he trusted in county Clerk and Recorder Pam Anderson and her department to determine the election winner soon.
The RTD race for District M, which is entirely within Jeffco, is also likely to trigger a mandatory recount, as Natalie Menten currently leads Matt Cohen by 119 votes.
A ballot recount is done whenever the percentage of victory is one-half of 1 percent or less of the winner’s vote total.
In the state Senate District 19 race, the vote results fall just outside that range, with Democrat incumbent Evie Hudak beating Republican Lang Sias by 332 votes.
But with Jeffco’s Clerk and Recorder’s Office still sifting through more than 7,000 provisional ballots that were turned in on Election Day, any three of those races could move in or out of the threshold.
“That’s entirely possible,” said Josh Liss, deputy of elections for Jeffco. “But what we’ve seen in recent years is that the provisional ballots seem to reflect what we see on election night.”
Liss said the provisional ballots had to be processed, followed by the official certification of the election results. If the numbers of those certified results still triggered the need for a recount, then the county would have until Dec. 13 to do so.
“But we know everyone’s anxious to find out who won. If we can we’d like to get any recount started that last week of November,” Liss said.
The optical vote-counting machines used by Jeffco, which Liss described as “simple and reliable,” would be checked for accuracy. Then the recount would begin, which in the case of the Odom and Tighe contest would involve recounting every ballot in the county. The process is expected to take three to four days.
Liss said the county’s equipment is rarely wrong the first time around though.
“I don’t think we’ve ever seen a recount in Jeffco where the result changes.”