Who Really Won?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"I can't believe I'm in the United States of America"

(AP/CBS4) DENVER City election officials apologized Wednesday after computer problems created long backups at polling places and left thousands of ballots uncounted a day after the polls closed.

Weary election workers were still trying to tally an estimated 40,000 ballots in Denver and another 20,000 in Pueblo County. Denver Election Commission spokesman Alton Dillard said it could be Friday before all votes are counted.

Both Denver and Pueblo are Democratic strongholds. A Denver measure to fund preschools hung in the balance, and the race for secretary of state was still too close to call.

Long lines kept some Denver voters waiting to cast ballots hours after polls closed at 7 p.m.

Delays and breakdowns also hampered voting in Montrose and Phillips counties, and several other counties were unable to provide complete results well past midnight.

Some people in Douglas County were waiting to vote until about 1:45 a.m. The Westridge Recreation Center in Highlands Ranch was packed all night.

More than 100 people waited between 5 and 6 hours to cast their vote. When midnight passed, the voting machines shut down because the date changed. That forced election workers to switch to provisional ballots.

Elections officials across the state struggled Tuesday with new machines and new procedures, delaying vote counts, angering party officials who worried their supporters would give up and go home, and turning a civic rite into an ordeal for many.

"I can't believe I'm in the United States of America," said Sean Kelly, a Denver resident who gave up and went home after waiting three hours in line at a polling place.