DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado is seeing something unusual during a political season that is typically quiet. Five Republican candidates in races across the state have requested a recount in their primary races. Two of them were actually able to get the state to recount the votes, but it came with a hefty fee.
Those two candidates are shelling out big bucks to have their primary races recounted, even though their races were nowhere close to being tight. One candidate paid a quarter-million dollars for the effort.
“It’s a stain on our democracy, unfortunately, that we don’t have the graceful transfer of power happening,” said Andy Boian, FOX31 Democratic political analyst. “Like on January 6th, it’s very evident it didn’t happen then. And here again in Colorado, on a micro level around the state, we have sore losers who want to spend money and waste time.”
The only race that was even remotely close among the five candidates who wanted recounts was the Republican Senate race between Joe O’Dea and Ron Hanks. Hanks wanted a recount, despite losing by an eight-point margin. He and two candidates vying for seats at the state Capitol did not come up with enough money to get their races recounted.
“How it works is that we will contact all the counties and the counties have to estimate the actual costs of doing the recounts. So, we did that right after we got the requests to do a recount. So we had 24 hours, basically a day, to get out the estimates,” Secretary of State Jena Griswold said.
Tina Peters pays quarter-million for recount after blowout loss
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters had to pay nearly $256,000 for a recount in her Secretary of State race that she lost in a blowout.
State Senate candidate Lynda Zamora Wilson paid nearly $21,000 for her recount, despite Senate Minority Whip Paul Lundeen defeating her comfortably.
“This is a huge waste of money,” FOX31 Republican Political Analyst Michael Fields said. “You have donors who are giving $100 or a few hundred dollars in order to participate in this thinking they can change the outcome when it’s not going to change it.”
“Candidates are within their legal right to request discretionary recounts. That’s what we are seeing now. But after the recount is done, I do hope candidates will accept the outcome of elections,” Griswold said.
By law, the recounts have to be done 37 days after the election. That gives the Secretary of State and county election offices a hard deadline of next Thursday. Griswold said counties will have people coming in over the weekend and working overtime to get it all done.