Heather McGregor
Post Independent Editor

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November 20, 2012
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DA's race too close to call as two of three counties finalize votes

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. - The race for 9th District Attorney between incumbent Martin Beeson and challenger Sherry Caloia remains too close to call until final results are reported by Pitkin County.

Beeson gained a stronger lead today in Garfield County once provisional and cured ballots were counted there, but his new combined lead in Garfield and Rio Blanco counties is still 83 votes behind the lead Caloia held in Pitkin County on Election Day.

In the three-county judicial district, all the votes are totaled to determine the winner.

Pitkin County Elections Officer Dwight Shellman said Pitkin's results should be available by late this afternoon or Wednesday morning. The county's elections team is processing 204 provisional ballots and 100 cured ballots.

"We hope to release the official results late today, but there's a real possibility we may not have them until tomorrow," Shellman said Tuesday morning.

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico released Garfield County's new results, which nudged Beeson's margin up by 15 votes in the county. He had already gained a margin of 26 votes from the final count in Rio Blanco County.

Alberico said her elections team counted 19 cured ballots, which were mail-in ballots set aside on Election Day because of various problems that have since been resolved. The team also reviewed 561 provisional ballots, and ruled that 408 of those ballots could be counted.

Of the 408, however, 57 were accepted only as "federal-state" ballots because voters showed up at the wrong community polling place in the county. As a result, only their votes in the presidential, congressional, University of Colorado regent, state judges and statewide ballot questions could be counted.

In particular, their votes in the district attorney's race could not be counted, Alberico said.

Here's how the numbers in the DA's race shake out as of today, with the release of the Garfield County final numbers:

Caloia: 10,810 in Garfield, 800 in Rio Blanco, 11,610 total without Pitkin County

Beeson: 12,094 in Garfield, 2,318 in Rio Blanco, 14,412 total without Pitkin County

On Election Day, Caloia garnered 5,859 votes in Pitkin County compared to 2,974 for Beeson.

So while Beeson now has a margin of 2,802 votes from Garfield and Rio Blanco, it's less than the 2,885-vote lead that Caloia held in Pitkin County on Election Day.

On Election Day, Caloia led by 124 votes for all three counties combined. With today's final numbers from Garfield and Rio Blanco and Election Day numbers from Pitkin, her lead has shrunk to 83 votes.

Now, what remains to be seen is how the votes were cast in the 304 provisional and cured ballots in Pitkin County.


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The Post Independent Updated Nov 20, 2012 04:22PM Published Nov 20, 2012 03:48PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.