As a voter, you might not be aware of the difference between election night results you see on the news or on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website, and certified election results, which take weeks to finalize after each election.
On election night you can see results on our website. You might also see them on the website of the Colorado Secretary of State. None of these results are certified, final results and sometimes the numbers can vary widely throughout the night as new precincts are counted and votes submitted on Election Day are prepared and counted.
The Secretary of State’s Office maintains a website — not official results — to help aggregate votes from across counties and the state so everyone can see results across county and other jurisdictional boundaries. We upload election results throughout the night to this website. It is not an official record of results nor is it connected to the secure county voting systems. It is maintained only so that voters don’t need to check 64 county websites, for example, if they are interested in who is winning a statewide race at any given point on Election Night.
We spend weeks after the election ensuring that every vote cast was counted and counted accurately. State law ensures voters can correct issues with their ballots for eight days following each election. We also wait eight days to ensure that every member of the military who voted through mail, whether they are stationed in the U.S. or abroad, have their votes counted as well as voters who are overseas. All of these processes continue to change vote totals for days after each Election Night. Secure totals are always, and only, held at the county level.
Results released on Election Night are posted as “unofficial.” This is due to military and overseas ballots that are afforded extra time for delivery after Election Day, and voters with signature or identification issues who are given time to resolve their issue. Voters in those categories have eight days after the election to resolve their issue or return their ballot.