Thousands of mail-in ballots in Colorado have been invalidated due to issues with voter signatures, shaking up a presidential race that polls show is boils down to a tie.
Election officials are rejecting ballots submitted with discrepancies or missing voter signatures. Those with rejected ballots will be given an additional eight days to “cure” their votes, further delaying what is expected to be a down to the wire decision.
But despite the high numbers of rejections, election officials say ballot discrepancies are on par with expectations.
“This doesn’t indicate a problem,” Jefferson County clerk’s spokesperson Allison Gerdes told MSNBC.com. “People just forget to sign their ballots and it’s a really good check and balance.”
Gerdes says approximately 1% of mail-in ballots, around 19,000 in total, are being reviewed for “questionable or missing signatures.”
The Denver suburb of Jefferson County is regarded as the “swingiest of Colorado’s swing counties.” Colorado has followed Jefferson County’s lead on deciding on the recipient of the state’s electoral votes in recent election cycles and is the county to watch.
Almost 3,500 ballots were rejected in Denver County, Elections Division officials say, making up roughly 1.5% of all mail-in ballots in the county.
“It’s a normal part of the elections process,” Denver Elections Division spokesman Alton Dillard said. ”We’re not going to put the election to bed until the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week.”
“Even if everyone went to a single candidate or initiative, with these numbers, they wouldn’t make a difference,” he added.