State elections officials Wednesday formally ordered a mandatory recount — as expected — in the closely watched 3rd Congressional District race between Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert and her Democratic challenger, former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch.
Boebert leads Frisch, who has already conceded, by 550 votes. But under Colorado law, a mandatory recount occurs when the number of votes separating the leading two candidates is less than 0.5% of the number of votes cast for the leading candidate.
The 550-vote margin represents 0.3% of the 163,842 votes cast this year for Boebert.
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“The results of the District 3 race reinforce the fact that every vote matters,” Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, said in a written statement. “Colorado voters have made their voices heard, and I am ordering this recount in accordance with Colorado law to confirm the will of the voters.”
Griswold’s order Wednesday means the recount can begin immediately.
Recounts rarely shift the margin in a race beyond a few votes, which is why Frisch conceded in the closer-than-expected contest.
The 3rd District leans heavily in Republicans’ favor.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office says clerks in each of the 27 counties in the 3rd District, which spans the Western Slope into Pueblo and southeast Colorado, will recount ballots in the same way they were processed during the election.
Twenty-six counties of the 3rd District’s counties will recount the ballots with scanning equipment, while the 27th, San Juan County, will hand recount ballots.
The recount must be complete by Dec. 13.