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Update: Suckla’s slim lead in District 58 could trigger recount

Larry Don Suckla is still vying for the District 58 seat in Colorado. He is currently leading by three votes. (Larry Don Suckla Facebook)
Unofficial results show Suckla came back from a 32-vote deficit to lead by three votes

The tight Republican primary race for Colorado House District 58 could trigger a mandatory recount, according to a Colorado Secretary of State spokesman on Monday.

The latest vote count on Tuesday showed Larry Don Suckla of Montezuma County with a three-vote lead over J. Mark Roeber of Delta County – 6,487 votes to 6,484.

Secretary of State Jena Griswold has until July 19 to order a mandatory recount, according to public information officer Jack Todd. If no recount is ordered, the vote stands

The vote count puts the candidates only 0.046% apart in votes, allowing Colorado Revised Statute 1-10.5.101(1)(b) to come into play. It reads:

“A recount of any election contest shall be held if the difference between the highest number of votes cast in that election contest and the next highest number of votes cast in that election contest is less than or equal to one-half of one percent of the highest vote cast in that election contest.”

2024 Primary Election Deadlines
June 25Primary election
June 27Deadline for county clerk to send missing signature, signature verification and missing ID letter emails.
July 3Last day for elector to cure signature discrepancy or missing signature or missing ID for mail or provisional ballots to be counted in primary.
July 5Last day for county clerk to complete verification and counting of provisional ballots for primary election.
July 17Last day for interested parties to file request for recount on their own behalf.
July 19Last day for the secretary of state to order a complete statutory recount of primary election race(s).

CRS. 1-10.5-102 covers recounts for congressional, state and district offices, state ballot questions and state ballot issues.

The winner will face Democrat Kathleen Curry in November.

The mandatory recount of cured ballots was ordered after voting results June 25 left Roeber with less than a 0.5% lead over Suckla.

On July 2, a count showed that Roeber led Suckla by 32 votes – 6,439 to 6,407, or 50.12% to 49.88% – according to the Colorado Secretary of State.

On Friday afternoon, the Colorado Secretary of State’s website showed that out of 12,971 votes, Suckla led Roeber by three votes – 6,487 to 6,484, or 50.01% to 49.99%.

On Monday, Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell told The Journal that 49 cured ballots were turned in before the deadline on Wednesday night. Nearly 100 were able to be cured, according to previous reports from the county.

The curing process begins when a ballot is rejected because of a discrepancy with the signature on the ballot. Voters can cure a rejected ballot if the ballot signature doesn’t appear to match the one on file, if they didn’t sign the ballot envelope or if they didn’t include a copy of an acceptable form of identification.

County clerks notify these voters within two days of the vote, and voters can cure their vote through Wednesday, July 3.

District 58 encompasses eight counties – Montezuma, Dolores, San Miguel, Ouray, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose and Delta.

Suckla served as county commissioner for Montezuma County from 2012 to 2020. Roeber is a former Delta County commissioner.

Suckla told The Journal that he hopes this close race reminds people the importance of voting, even if they don’t believe their vote will make a difference.

“I hear people say that their one vote doesn’t make a difference, but it does,” Suckla said.

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