Scott Gessler says Boulder election results not certified yet, city says they are

Categories: News, Politics

"That headline says it has been certified, which is not the case," Cole explains. By today, he adds, Gessler's office will finish its consideration of the canvass board concerns, which were written out in a letter last week. Incidentally, Gessler has a scheduled stop in Boulder this morning as part of an "election integrity listening tour" to give the public a chance to offer feedback on the elections.

Thumbnail image for Scott Gessler talks to reporters.jpeg
Sam Levin
Secretary of State Scott Gessler
It is very likely that the canvass board process in Boulder will come up in public comments. The members who voted no expressed a range of concerns, including criticisms of the signature verification process and arguments that there are inconsistencies in the counts.

Technically, Gessler cannot directly "certify" the results of the state and federal races; that's the job of the canvass boards. But his office can "accept" them, making the vote official. The counties are responsible for the local races: In Boulder, races for county commissioner, district attorney and a handful of district ballot issues were contested this year.

Though the canvass board rejected results across the board, the county clerk's office has done its review and made the decision yesterday to alert relevant municipalities of the final results in the local races, says Molly Tayer, elections coordinator in the clerk and recorder's office.

Tayer says the concerns of the canvass board members are related to issues outside the scope of the board. Her office is confident in the results, she notes.

"We have four people that were interested in many things beyond the [charges of the canvass board]," Tayer points out. "That shouldn't be allowed to hold up certification and the close of the race."

Tayer says she has been in close contact with the Secretary of State's office and thought it was clear her office had approval to go forward with its announcement of certification. The Secretary of State's team says it did not give a green light for the press release above.

It's possible there was some confusion regarding the county certifying the local races versus Gessler's office accepting results of the statewide and federal races.

"We didn't mean to create this kind of confusion," Tayer says.

After the Secretary of State makes its decision final today, it is likely these officials will all be on the same page, declaring that the process was successful and the results are solid and official.

But such a declaration won't appease the concerns of Boulder's critics, who say the county clerk is essentially rubber-stamping her own results and eliminating the oversight powers of the canvass board.

"This is just outrageous," says Marilyn Marks, founder of Citizen Center, a voter watchdog group that has been critical of both Gessler and Hall. "This is not the American way.... This is not what you do...when you have citizens that are supposed to have control."

Marks argues that officials in Boulder did not give enough information to those responsible for certifying the results to feel confident.

Mary Eberle, one of the canvass board members who voted no, responded to the Boulder press release by saying, "I have no idea what they did. There is no information.... I'd like to know who did the certification. Is the clerk certifying her own work?"

More from our Politics archive: "Colorado Springs not yet enforcing law against panhandling -- but is "educating" people."

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at

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