Provisional Ballot Debate Over

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Republican Bob Beauprez is ahead by 122 votes in the race for Colorado's new Seventh Congressional District.

The margin is so narrow it triggers an automatic recount by state law. Three counties released their results today after a court order to count all qualified provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 5 election.

Unofficial results show Beauprez with 81,530 votes and Feeley with 81,408 votes. Feeley spokesman Steve Welchert says Feeley will wait for the recount. Beauprez spokesman Allen Fuller says the numbers confirm that Beauprez won.

Earlier Thursday, attorneys for Beauprez filed a notice of intent to appeal a decision by a Denver District Court judge ordering all legitimate provisional ballots to be counted.

In Southern Colorado, two races were slightly affected by the provisional ballots. In House District 18, Democrat Michael Merrifield widened his lead over Republican Dan Stuart. The final vote was 8552, or 48%, for Merrifield and 8440, or 47%, for Stuart. Libertarian candidate Keith Hamburger picked up the remaining votes.