Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) holds a slight lead of 1,122 votes over Democrat Adam Frisch one week after Election Day, and both candidates say a recount is likely as the race remains too close to call.
The conservative firebrand was seen as likely to cruise to a second term, so even if she holds her narrow lead after the counts are finalized, the close margin marks a major surprise in this year’s midterm elections.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Republicans are just one seat away from taking the House majority. With 12 seats still up for grabs, the GOP has multiple paths to victory in the chance that Boebert’s lead dissipates.
Both Boebert and Frisch have indicated a recount is likely in their race following the tabulation of any remaining votes, urging their supporters to donate so the campaigns can continue expending resources as the count progresses.
Colorado law mandates an automatic recount when the winner’s margin of victory is less than half of a percent. Boebert’s margin of just 0.4 percent as of Tuesday afternoon would qualify, though a small number of ballots have yet to be counted.
“I told you all year, the Left would do everything that they possibly could to get rid of me,” Boebert wrote on Friday. “As this race comes down to every last vote, I need you to help us ensure we have the resources to finish what we started!”
“To help us keep the process going and help us gear up for a likely recount, chip in here, we need support now more than ever!” Frisch similarly wrote on Sunday.
Frisch is in Washington this week for Congress’s new member orientation as he waits to see if he will ultimately pull off an upset.
It remains unclear exactly how many ballots remain to be tabulated.
The Colorado secretary of state’s office declined to provide a count, saying it changes “minute by minute” based on new data from counties.
Frisch told The Hill on Monday he expects between 3,000 and 6,000 votes remain as he expressed optimism that he still had a path to close Boebert’s lead.
“I’m confident that we’re going to be in the hunt,” Frisch said.
The Hill has reached out to Boebert’s campaign for comment.
The additional tabulations may not come until later this week because of statutory deadlines.
“I told my friends and family, you don’t need to click the box,” Frisch said, referring to online result postings. “You don’t need to click the box until probably Wednesday, Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.”
Voters whose mail ballot signatures did not match state records have until Wednesday evening to cure their ballot so it can be counted. In Pueblo County, one of the largest in Boebert’s district, election data indicates that just under 500 ballots remain uncured as of Monday.
Ballots from voters who live overseas can also arrive through Wednesday evening, and Frisch estimated that there could be roughly 1,000 of those ballots in the district.
“I was surprised to learn they’re supposed to be pretty left to center on these overseas ballots, civilian and Democrat,” he said.
Although those groups comprise large portions of the uncounted votes, Jack Todd, the Colorado secretary of state’s deputy communications director, indicated those aren’t the only ones that remain.
“County clerks are also holding on to a small number of ballots until cured ballots and ballots from overseas and military voters are ready to count,” said Todd. “This is to ensure the way a voter cast their ballot remains anonymous.”
Mychael Schnell contributed.