Coffman Montgomery Aurora mayor

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman and Omar Montgomery, 2019 candidates for Aurora mayor.

More than a week after Election Day, residents of Aurora still aren't sure who has been elected mayor in what turned into a neck-and-neck race between a former Republican congressman and the Democratic former head of the local NAACP.

After election officials posted preliminary results at the end of last week, Mike Coffman, who represented the 6th Congressional District for five terms, led first-time candidate Omar Montgomery by a whisker — 281 votes out of 74,056 ballots counted in the five-way race, a difference of just 0.38%.

Following days of frenetic activity chasing several hundred ballots that could swing the final results, both candidates and their supporters should know by mid-day Thursday whether a clear winner has been determined or the contest could be headed to a recount.

That's when the Arapahoe County clerk plans to post an updated count, a spokeswoman for the office told Colorado Politics.

And the outcome should be final — if still unofficial — by mid-day Friday, when the clerk in Adams County, which includes fewer Aurora precincts than Arapahoe, posts that county's final tabulation.

While Coffman's margin by the end of last week was greater than the difference that would trigger an automatic recount in the race, he didn't declare victory, and Montgomery didn't concede, since it wouldn't be until eight days after polls closed on Nov. 5 that election officials would have all the ballots in hand and be able to run their final tally.

Since then, supporters of both candidates have been beating the bushes to encourage hundreds of voters in Arapahoe and Adams counties to "cure" ballots that haven't yet been counted because officials determined those ballots had signature problems. (Douglas County, the third county that includes part of Aurora, didn't have any ballots that needed curing by the end of last week, officials said.)

The clerks in Arapahoe, Adams and Douglas counties are also awaiting the arrival of what is likely a small number of ballots from military and overseas voters, who had to get their ballots postmarked by 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 but get an additional eight days to make it to the clerks.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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