Ballots From Last Year’s Mesa County Election Found in Dropbox
City election officials found 574 ballots in a dropbox from last year's election and are wondering how they were missed.
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters said the ballots were discovered when ballots for this year's presidential primary were being picked up.
The Colorado Secretary of State was notified immediately, however, the 500 ballots would not have changed any outcomes from the previous election.
Peters was also quoted as saying:
Our initial review leads us to believe that had the ballots that were left in the drop box been counted, it would not have produced a different result in any of the elections. However, the Mesa County Clerk & Recorder’s Office understands that this was a serious mistake that should not have happened. Steps to ensure that this won’t occur during the upcoming Primary Election have been taken, and the procedures followed by the elections staff are continuing to be reviewed and modified to ensure that this mistake will never happen again.
According to sources, the ballots from 2019 cannot be opened unless by court order and as there were no races or ballot measures that were closer than 1,000 votes, aside from the Orchard Mesa Fire Protection District measure 6A, and none of the ballots found were from Orchard Mesa.
Video from the Spruce Street dropbox location will be checked to see why the ballots from 2019 were not picked up, but Peters and her staff are taking:
“steps to ensure that this won’t occur during the upcoming Primary Election have been taken, and the procedures followed by the elections staff are continuing to be reviewed and modified to ensure that this mistake will never happen again.”
Checking the boxes after the polls have closed and before the boxes are locked are things that will be done going forward, as well as checking them the day after.