Provisional Ballots Could Determine Colorado Race Outcome

Democratic congressional candidate Mike Feeley filed a lawsuit that asks a judge to require election officials to count all provisional ballots in the still-undecided 7th Congressional District race.

Republican Bob Beauprez is 386 votes ahead of Feeley in the contest to become the first representative of the new congressional district in the metropolitan Denver area.

The outcome rests on provisional ballots in three counties, cast by voters whose names did not appear on the official voter-registration rolls.

Feeley and other Democrats have complained that election officials in the counties did not use the same standards to decide whether to count provisional ballots.

Election officials must decide whether each provisional ballot was cast by a qualified voter before it can be counted. Nearly 6,500 provisional ballots were cast, but not all would affect the outcome of the 7th District race.

In the lawsuit, Feeley contended a lack of specifics from Secretary of State Donetta Davidson in setting a ballot review standard was an equal protection concern, similar to that at the heart of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2000 involving the presidential election in Florida.

"If I don't ask the court for help, many voters who cast their ballot on Election Day will not have their votes counted,'' he said.

Republican Party executive director Alan Philp said Feeley was a sore loser trying to change the rules.

"As a former state legislator, Mike Feeley should know that these rules are set by law,'' he said.