The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office released the final results from last week’s District 11 recall election, showing that former State Sen. John Morse, a democrat, lost his seat by a margin of less than 600 votes representing 1.78 percent of all votes cast.
In the end, it was a horse race.
A total of 8,835 votes were cast in favor of the recall while 8,276 voted in opposition of the move.
“The final results include an additional 76 ballots from military and overseas voters and 22 polling place provisional ballots that were counted after signatures were verified,” said Ryan Parsell, spokesman for the office, in a news release. “The official results were certified by a bi-partisan Canvas Board consisting of representatives from the Democratic and Republican Party.”
Some with a sense of humor voted for some not-so-real-life characters in the write-in section of the recall ballot.
“The new results also detail how write-in votes were cast. Libertarian candidate Jan Brooks was the only official write-in candidate,” Parsell said. “Brooks received 12.6 percent (226 out of 1,796) of the cast write-in votes. Votes for other individuals who did not register could not be legally counted. Examples of these invalid write-in votes range from votes cast for current and former local elected officials to fictitious characters like Harry Potter.”
So, for now, no young wizard will be representing District 11 in Denver anytime soon.
“This office worked hard to ensure that the voters of Senate District 11 had the opportunity to express their will through the democratic election process,” stated Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams in a press release issued by his office. “Despite seven different sets of procedures, we had more residents of Senate District 11 vote in this recall election than voted in the November 2011 election. We worked hard to make voting accessible, and every voter was within seven minutes of a voting site. For most of the 49 hours of voting, walk-up voting was available at all of the seven sites.”
Morse conceded around 8:30 p.m. the night of the recall election as it was becoming increasingly clear that republican Bernie Herpin, a former Colorado Springs City Councilman, would be replacing him.
Political experts deemed the recall, which began after Morse spearheaded legislation tightening gun laws in Colorado, a historic moment.
Herpin will serve out Morse’s term.
Jesse Paul, Editor-in-Chief