PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Thursday, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold appointed an Election Supervisor to run the Pueblo County Primary Election, elevating the government response to complaints of multiple ballot errors.
The appointment came one day after the Secretary of State's Office placed an observer in Pueblo County to oversee election activities.
“An election observer is really just there to have sight on what's happening; it's almost like an extension of my office to be able to see what's actually happening in real time," said Griswold. "A supervisor, however, does more of direct oversight, so directing employees and the county clerk on specific tasks and has more hands on direct authority.”
Griswold said the supervisor has more of a hands-on approach, something she believed the clerk's office needed after the observer took over the election oversight.
The Secretary of State received formal complaints from six election candidates, each running in either the House District race, the Clerk and Recorder race, or County Commissioners race. They reported incidents of voters receiving ballots with the wrong house district listed on them and claimed the District 3 County Commissioners race was left off some voter ballots.
In response to accusations of election errors, Griswold said her office can take one of three courses of action: place an observer, place a supervisor, or formally remove the Clerk and Recorder from their elected position.
However, the third course of action is contingent on evidence of intentional malice from the Clerk and Recorder, which Griswold said her office did not find to be true of Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Bo Ortiz.
With the instatement of the Supervisor, Griswold said voters and candidates should be confident in the outcome of the upcoming election.
"Now there's extra assistance in Pueblo. The County Clerk has taken steps to remediate any issue, and we look forward to making sure that every eligible voter in Pueblo has access to safe and secure elections.”
Voters in Pueblo County who received the wrong ballot should not worry about their votes being lost or miscounted. Griswold said those who have not yet voted can get a new, correct ballot, and those who have already cast their ballots will have their votes sorted correctly into the correct races.