Thousands of Colorado mail ballots have been rejected because of signature issues.
Voters either didn't sign the ballot or election officials have determined there is a discrepancy.
Those with rejected ballots will be notified and then have eight days to respond and verify their signatures. Those left without responses will be given to the district attorney for investigation of possible fraud, said Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Scott Doyle.
Larimer County has rejected 700 ballots because of signature issues, Doyle said. "That is about what I expected."
Denver's Elections Division spokesman Alton Dillard said 3,488 mail-in ballots had verification issues and those voters were sent letters telling them they
Photos: 2012 Election Day in Colorado
By 5 p.m., Jefferson County had rejected 1,970 mail ballots, Clerk and Recorder Pam Anderson said.
However, Jeffco has had high numbers of those issues resolved in the allowed amount of time in years past, she said.
Douglas County has rejected 373 ballots, 60 of which had no signature, said Clerk and Recorder Jack Arrowsmith said.
Like Doyle, Arrowsmith said he was expecting hundreds of ballots to be rejected for signature issues.
Arapahoe County spokeswoman Andrea Rasizer said mail-in ballot verification issues had not surfaced in that county.
Word of the rejected ballots followed what was otherwise a normal day of voting — with a few scattered hiccups — in a crucial swing state. Colorado voters are deciding a number of issues, including whether to legalize recreational use and retail sales of marijuana, three competitive congressional races and control of the state legislature.
Due to early voting and mail ballots, many Coloradans already had
By mid afternoon, the only significant obstacle between voters and the polls was time.
Liz Ellis with Arapahoe County said as of 2:45 p.m., the longest wait time was at CenterPoint Plaza — about an hour — but poll workers were referring people to nearby Faith Presbyterian Church and Aurora Hills Middle School where there were no wait times.
At St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Centennial, things had died down by around 2 p.m. with no wait time.
Bev Lawrence of Centennial said she came around 2 p.m. because she figured that's when there would be the fewest people voting.
"Everyone was pleasant who was doing it, which I appreciate," Lawrence said. "I tried to come when I could get in and out."
She said she knew how she was voting weeks ago and had brought a cheat sheet so she could vote quickly.
Kasey Kushie of Aurora said she didn't have to wait at all at St. Thomas. "It was 10 times easier than last time."
But earlier Tuesday, lines formed at many polling stations. At least one in Jefferson County — the one swing county said to be the most likely to decide Colorado's direction in this election — was off to a rocky start .
Several people were either turned away or asked to fill out provisional ballots at Columbine
Jim Mitchell of Littleton said he's been voting at the site for years and never had a problem until now. "Apparently they have the wrong registration book. We have to go to a different place."
Chuck Welle of Lakewood left the site before he was able to vote because the lines were getting long. He said he'd come back at lunch time.
"I gotta vote," said Welle. "It's my right."
Littleton resident David Ahl waited about 15 minutes before poll workers finally found his name in the registration book.
"It was pretty testy in there for a second," Ahl said. "People were very impatient. But they finally figured it out."
Josh Parsons of Morrison was turned away after he was told he was in the wrong precinct. He said he was frustrated, "to say the very least."
"I'm not even sure where I'm supposed to go now," said Parsons.
By about 8 a.m., poll workers at the site said they had the situation under control. They said they had the right registration book all along, but that the voters' names were organized in a way that was confusing.
Sam Schiller, of Lakewood, experienced similar problems at a voting site at Deane Elementary School in Jefferson County. Poll workers there were also confused about the registration rolls and asked many of the voters to fill out provisional ballots instead, he said.
The mix-up on Election Day was largely due to a misunderstanding, according to Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Pam Anderson. Election judges got two separate voter rolls, one with those who voted early or got a mail-in ballot, and another with people expected to vote on-site, and it confused the workers, Anderson said.
"Upon opening in some precincts, some polling place judges had difficulty locating voters in the poll book, because they were not searching from the front to back and therefore missing the front section," Anderson said in a statement. "We have been in contact with our polling locations to re-instruct them on the training issue and resolved the earlier confusion."
Voting machines were down at Mrachek Middle School in Aurora early Tuesday and only one poll worker was on duty for the provisional ballot line, causing a wait times of two hours at the beginning of the day.
Wanda Ramey, a volunteer with the League of Women Voters who was there handing out surveys to voters, said nine voters left without voting because of the long lines.
"It was torture, but it was alright," said voter Lisa Vasquez of Aurora. "There's only one person moving like molasses and you couldn't fill it (the provisional ballot) out in line."
Matt Crane, a deputy of elections, said the downed machines were not a problem because there was no wait for machines and that more resources were going to the provisional ballot line, though it was still long.
Arapahoe voters were seeing long lines at Faith Presbyterian Church, 11373 E. Alameda Ave., in Aurora, but not so many hiccups.
The lines were about 30-40 people deep just after the polls opened.
"We gotta get back in the swing of things," said lead machine judge Virginia Fuehrer.
Poll watcher Michael Alper said poll workers didn't run the paper tape record on a few of the machines when they logged them in, but the machines showed zero votes recorded before people voted, so he wasn't worried.
The early rush had tapered off by mid-morning and many polling stations in Arapahoe County settled into smoother operation.
At the CenterPointe Plaza voting center in Aurora, however, voters waitied two hours or more to vote.
Jorge Murillo remembers voting only taking 10 minutes during the last presidential election at a nearby school, but now his precinct was being sent to CenterPointe and it took him more than two hours.
"I have to vote, so I might as well wait," Murillo said.
As of 12:45 p.m. the wait time given was about 45 minutes and people were being sent to nearby Aurora Hills Middle School, where the lines are much shorter.
Joe Johnston, who served in the Marines for 16 years and in Vietnam, said he waited about an hour and 40 minutes.
"I served 16 years in the military so people could do this," he said, "so an hour and 40 minutes is nothing."
Mallory Basso said her voting experience didn't take her nearly as long as she thought it would at Falcon Creek Middle School in Aurora, where by 9:30 a.m. there were no lines.
"It was very seamless," Basso said. "I definitely think the early voting helped, because I set aside a bunch of time to vote."
KC Lee of Centennial also reported an efficient experience at Falcon, though he had been told to go there because of the long wait times at nearby Smoky Hill Library, where Shawn Degrassa of Centennial waited in line an hour and 15 minutes. But he didn't mind it too much.
"It was nice today, and I was enjoying the sunshine," Degrassa said, adding that when it was his turn to vote, it was fast and efficient.
Zev Trynosky of Centennial said he also didn't mind the hour wait, as he had the day off.
"The atmosphere was calm and relaxed and the machines were easy to use," Trynosky said.
While the line at Smoky Hill Library went out the door, voters came out at a steady clip.
Michael Townsend, of Aurora, who prefers to vote on Election Day, said his experience was more smooth than in previous years.
"There's chaos to every Election Day," Townsend said, "but this was pretty straightforward."
Joey Kirchmer, Clayton Woullard and Josie Klemaier contributed to this report.