Recount request in Boulder withdrawn by Republican candidate due to high cost

Categories: News, Politics

The Secretary of State's office agreed that the Boulder estimate seems unnecessarily high and tasked staffers with researching the matter to offer its own estimate. But they didn't get far enough before Hilliard decided to withdraw.

Arapahoe Public Hearing, Scott Gessler.jpeg
Sam Levin
Scott Gessler and Suzanne Staiert listen to public comments last week in Arapahoe County.
Molly Tayer, elections coordinator in the clerk and recorder's office, points out that the recount request from Hilliard came in Friday afternoon, the last day to call for a recount. She says her staff worked tirelessly over the weekend to come up with an estimate based on the Gessler's guidelines. The document outlining the calculations is on full view below.

"We didn't think it was inordinately high," she says. "We worked very hard on it."

Tayer points out that the $27,777 includes optional printing costs. As a result, the total could be closer to $19,000 if the candidate chose to review the results digitally.

"We did our research. We made sure that we included the overtime it would take to get the recount done in three days," she says, noting timeline requirements. "The bottom line is we didn't want to [do]...a recount and have it charged back to the taxpayers. We wanted to ensure the cost of this would be covered."

And in response to overall accusations, she adds, "Our office has done an amazing job of being open and transparent throughout the election.... We definitely took this very seriously."

Hilliard, who lost by more than 5,000 votes, says in an interview that she sees an increasing lack of confidence in elections and simply wanted to do a recount so that voters could feel better about the process.

"There's just so many funny, odd, irregular things that happened," she says. "It seems like the canvass board ought to have a little bit more access."

She says, "When I went to door to door, I had dozens of people who told me they weren't going to vote, because they don't have any confidence in the way votes are counted.... That's a concern. I don't care what party it is."

People, she adds, don't want to run for office when there's even an appearance of potential wrongdoing or error. "It makes it really hard to get candidates when they think the votes are getting manipulated."

Continue for the full recount estimates from Boulder.

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