Nov 5, 2010 12:59 AM by Zach Thaxton
El Paso County's ballot question asking voters to decide whether to ban medical marijuana dispensaries may be headed for an automatic recount, but it may be more than two weeks before the necessity of a recount is determined.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial results show "No" votes leading "Yes" votes by 90,972 to 90,641 -- a margin of 331 votes. An automatic recount is required if the margin is less than one-half of one-percent. "The 331-vote difference is within one-half of one-percent," said El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink. "It's only nineteen one-hundredths. Not fifty one-hundredths, but nineteen one-hundredths. That's a very close one," Balink said.
Before a recount can begin, all ballots must be accounted for. Nearly three dozen people representing both major political parties and unaffiliated voters are spending all day every day at Centennial Hall in Colorado Springs poring over each ballot, or canvassing, to verify its result. They're also determining which of 5,132 provisional ballots will be counted in the overall final numbers. The entire process must be completed by November 19.