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Politics and Government

61,000 Adams County voters should receive their ballots Wednesday after the documents went missing

The ballots sat on a secured truck for a week before the problem was realized

A worker moves pallets of ballots fill a section of the U.S. Postal Service's Denver Processing and Distribution Center on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. The facility will process about 2.1 million election 2018 ballots over the next several days -- about two-thirds of all the ballots that will be mailed for this year's general election in Colorado. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)
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Some 61,000 voters in Adams County should receive their ballots on Wednesday after the documents went missing in a situation that remains under investigation by mail and local elections officials.

“All ballots were received yesterday at 4 p.m., intact, sealed and secured,” said David Rupert, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service. “They were rolled out to the machines and processed last night. They should be in mailboxes today.”

The ballots, mostly for residents in Thornton, Brighton and Aurora, represent a quarter of those sent out in Adams County for the general election, a key 2018 battleground in Colorado. The 6th Congressional District, whose outcome could decide which party controls the U.S. House, spans into the county.

MORE: 61,000 Adams County voters are still missing ballots (and other voting problems around Colorado)

The ballots never made it into the U.S. Postal Service processing center on Oct. 15 as millions of others started to be sorted and sent out for delivery.

Julie Jackson, spokeswoman for Adams County Clerk and Recorder Stan Martin, said it wasn’t unclear why one of four trucks filled with ballots wasn’t unloaded and ended up being returned to a secure location. They were on the truck for a week before elections officials realized the problem after voters began complaining.

The partisan makeup of the unmailed ballots reflects that of the county, with 24,000 unaffiliated, 19,000 Democratic, 17,000 Republican and 1,000 for minor-party voters. There were 243,227 active registered voters in Adams County as of Sept. 30.

Adams County Clerk Stan Martin apologized to voters for the delay.

“We’re still investigating the details of what happened and we’ll released more information after that is completed,” he said in a statement.

Rupert said the Postal Service is also investigating what happened. He added that the integrity of the ballots was never threatened.

Voters are urged to mail back their ballots before Oct. 29 or else drop them off at one of their county’s designated sites. Ballots must be in the hands of your county’s election officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 6, to be counted.

MORE: How to check your voter registration, where to drop off your ballot, how many people are registered and more questions answered 

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