PUEBLO COUNTY — A consistent question has popped up from voters since the polls closed on Tuesday evening: "Why is it taking so long to count the ballots?"
As Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz, the Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder, said, "It could be because we're American and we want instant gratification."
In reality, multiple clerk and recorders' offices say the pace at which ballots are being counted is to be expected.
"It's not about speed, it's about accuracy, it's about making sure that everybody's ballots are accepted and we count every vote," said Ortiz.
Pueblo County had roughly 67,000 ballots returned and it took until Thursday evening to have the majority of them counted, excluding ones with signature discrepancies or coming in from overseas. They hired roughly 145 election judges.
In comparison to Pueblo County, Mesa County has a slightly smaller population but had a bigger voter turnout this election. Mesa County had over 70,000 ballots returned and it took until Thursday morning for the majority of those to be counted, with 114 election judges.
In Denver County, where the population and voter turnout was much higher than Pueblo or Mesa County's, there were still roughly 95,000 ballots to county as of Friday afternoon.
"I really feel like the clerk's office is the toughest job in local politics," said Ortiz.
Ortiz believes one way for elections offices to be able to process more quickly is for them to have better funding.
"Machines are so expensive... We have the Runback Agilis for $500,000.00. When you're spending that kind of money on making things more efficient, it's hard to get more money from the commissioners, or whoever your entity is, for humans," said Ortiz.
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