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Following Recount, Broomfield’s Fracking Moratorium Narrowly Passes

Grace Hood
Broomfield election officials (left) worked to finalize initial election results in November before an automatic recount was triggered. To the right, several election observers look on as votes are counted.

Foes of hydraulic fracturing in Broomfield saw their narrow victory confirmed Dec. 3 as election officials released unofficial recount results. Question 300 —a 5-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing — narrowly passed by 20 votes.

Originally, the measure narrowly passed by 17 votes, triggering an automatic recount.

Questions still remain about Broomfield’s vote counting process.

On the very same night that the recount was resolved, a pro-fracking group filed a lawsuit against Broomfield election officials. According to the Broomfield Enterprise, the Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition is alleging the elections division didn’t provide adequate legal access for BBEC election watchers during ballot counting.

The Colorado Secretary of State is also raising questions about Broomfield’s counting of ballots, stating in a report that errors in the initial count “cast doubt on the legality of numerous votes.” 

According to a Broomfield election update, a canvass board still needs to meet and certify the results.

By law, Broomfield has until Dec. 5 to complete the recount. When the results are certified, Broomfield will join Lafayette, Boulder and Fort Collins in having passed a ban or moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the 2013 election.

The moves aren’t without consequences. Both Lafayette and Fort Collins have been met with litigation by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association for their respective voter-approved measures.

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