Ballots to be preserved after some were discarded in Larimer County dual elections mix up

DENVER - Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced Tuesday that he adopted an emergency rule outlining procedures for counting ballots in the Larimer County primary election and the Loveland city election.

In a news release, the Secretary of State's Office said the issue involves the City of Loveland election running in tandem with the county's primary election.

Due to the two elections, affiliated voters in Loveland received two ballots, with one to be returned to the city and one to be returned to the county. Voters must return both ballots by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The dual election has created confusion among some Loveland voters with county ballots being returned to the city and vice versa.

The Secretary of State's Office said it learned Monday that county ballots returned to the city were discarded and not counted.

Larimer County received approximately 40 Loveland ballots in county (white) envelopes, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

"Those ballots will not be counted and will not be delivered to Loveland," Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Angela Myers told the newspaper earlier this week. "That is simply a lost vote."

The Secretary of State's Office said as of Tuesday afternoon, Myers "changed course" and will begin exchanging eligible ballots with the Loveland Municipal Clerk.

"These are important questions to the voters in Loveland and their voices deserve to be heard," Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert said. "While we're disappointed some of these ballots won't be counted, hopefully this rule will preserve and count the rest of the ballots that were caught up in the confusion surrounding these dual elections."

As of Monday, the City of Loveland rejected 33 primary ballots. It's unknown how many more ballots were refused by the Larimer County Clerk and Recorder before the issuance of the rule.

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