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Recount Could Determine Broomfield Fracking Vote

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (AP) - The results of Broomfield's fracking vote won't be known until later this month, at the earliest, and will likely be determined by a recount.

The proposed five-year hydraulic fracturing ban fell 13 votes short of passing in Tuesday night's initial count. The tally won't be official until officials have counted all overseas and military ballots, provisional ballots and other ballots with problems like missing signatures.

Under state law, overseas and military voters have to get their ballots in by Wednesday. In addition, county officials say they are sorting through 363 faulty ballots to determine if they should be included in the final tally, which must be finished by Nov. 19.

The grassroots group that backed the measure expects the final tally to be close enough to trigger an automatic recount required under state law. If it's not, it plans to request and pay for a recount, member Nate Troup said Thursday.

State law mandates recounts if the margin of victory is within a half percent of the number of votes cast for the prevailing side.

In a statement, county clerk Jim Candalarie said a recount won't be done until the Nov. 19 certification of the original vote and could take two or three days.

Voters in three other Front Range cities passed fracking bans in this week's election. The industry said the bans passed in Boulder and Lafayette were largely symbolic because drilling isn't very active there. Fort Collins voters passed a measure calling for a five-year moratorium on fracking and a study on its impact on health.

Drilling critics are mulling a possible statewide fracking moratorium on 2014 ballots.

Meanwhile, Longmont is waiting for a court date to resolve a legal challenge from the industry and the state over the fracking ban its voters passed last year.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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