Finally! No more robo-calls; no more radio and television commercials; no more mailers telling us to ‘vote yes!’ ‘vote no!’ ‘stop him!’ ‘stop her!’ The election is over! We survived; maybe not happily or maybe as happy as the proverbial clam if our candidate or issue prevailed. But it no longer matters. It’s over. Or is it?
“We’ll still be counting ballots through the end of the week,” said Denver’s Director of Elections, Jocelyn Bucaro. Among those ballots will be those cast by military members or civilian voters stationed or living overseas.
So, despite how election results turned out or how voters might be feeling about the outcome, “we have up to November 23rd to certify election results,” said Bucaro who is new to Denver for election 2018. She previously served in a similar capacity in Hamilton, Ohio.
But, unofficially, this is what all the races---individual and ballot issues---looked like. Since early voting began last month, Bucaro’s office has been buzzing with workers doing everything from running ballots through machines to ensure accurate counts to having other workers checking the authenticity of signatures. It’s a labor-intensive process with the last detail being a final test of the system “to make sure it (the system) worked correctly.”
Though every state runs its own election, nearly every state---red, blue or purple---has felt the breeze from Washington. And voters---those supporting President Trump as well as those virulently anti-Trump---have felt it.
Both parties have sent surrogates to Colorado to either inspire voters to back the President or remind them of his shortcomings. Other groups, including the oil and gas industry and the NRA, have also spent lavishly on issues and candidates. The result has been a record-breaking year on election spending. The Denver Post estimated that spending this cycle has inched close to the $200 million-dollar mark. The totals easily surpassed 2014 when $154 million dollars was spent.
Three races, the Sixth Congressional District, the race for Governor and Amendment 112, were a bonanza for the state. Coffman versus Crowe was one of the most expensive in the nation. Jared Polis pumped more than $20 million of his own money into his race and oil and gas money on Amendment 112 totaled an estimated $30 million.
For now, voters get a respite. Or do they? The next election is a Presidential election and today marks the unofficial start by candidates---including Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper---the not-so-coy dance of hinting about their own political ambitions. But for volunteers, it’s the day to begin picking up yard signs, taking down billboards and either basking in the light of victory or licking their wounds. Colorado’s Governor