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Multiple Pueblo voters receive ballots with wrong House District listed on it

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- More than a dozen Pueblo voters received ballots with the wrong House District listed on them.

The Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz confirmed to 13 Investigates that around 20 Pueblo voters received ballots listing House District 62 instead of House District 46, which is their district.

According to Ortiz, the issue only affected a single apartment complex on the city's west side. He went on to say the error was due to a flaw in their GIS system that labeled the House Districts incorrectly.

This isn't the first time Pueblo County has had issues with ballots. At the beginning of June, around 250 voters were sent the incorrect ballot which didn't include all of the categories, including the candidates for the county commissioner race.

One of those voters, Elvis Martinez says he caught the mistake on his ballot because he is a well informed voter. He tells 13 Investigates he caught the mistake on Sunday and immediately contacted the Clerk's office.

"Those votes matter. Every vote matters for the republican and democrats," Martinez said. "There shouldn't be misprinted ballots at all when it should go through step one, step two, and step three, double checking and triple checking."

Martinez lives on Pueblo's west side. He showed 13 Investigates his primary ballot with the wrong House District listed on it.

Elvis Martinez

"If those are not as well informed voters as I am, then they are voting in the wrong district without even knowing it," Martinez said.

On June 3, 13 Investigates learned that Ortiz's office had to reprint 70,000 ballots. A mistake that cost Pueblo taxpayers nearly $14,000. That error left the District 3 County Commissioner race off of hundreds of primary ballots in Pueblo.

One of candidates in that race was Mike Schuster, whose wife attempted to vote for him in person and noticed his name was not listed on her ballot.

"People may not have questioned it at all if they went and got a ballot. They would say I don't live in this district or whatever and they wouldn't have had the opportunity to vote. It is important because I was lucky enough to come across this," Schuster said.

Ortiz said the error in early June was the result of a human error. Despite the error, some Pueblo voters are concerned that election issues keep popping up with the primary election 12 days away.

"It's voter suppression in my view," Martinez said.

The Pueblo County Commissioners met in executive session Tuesday afternoon to discuss 2022 primary election ballots. 13 Investigates asked about the specifics of what was discussed, but were not given insight on their discussions.

The Colorado Secretary of State's Office issued this statement to 13 Investigates when asked about the ballot dilemmas.

"The Secretary of State's Office is providing support to the Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder's Office. We are working to ensure that elections in Pueblo are safe and secure and that everyone in Pueblo gets to cast a ballot." - Secretary of State's Spokesperson

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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