Roaring Fork school board challenger Jasmin Ramirez now has an 80-vote advantage in her bid to unseat incumbent District D representative Shane Larson, based on the latest reports from election officials.
Garfield County election officials have also clarified that the potential for some rejected ballots to be cured, plus another 154 ballots that are being held in reserve to be counted next week, aren’t likely to change the outcome of the race.
As of Thursday, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, which is reporting the multi-county results from Tuesday’s off-year election, gave Ramirez a 2,565 to 2,485 advantage in the balloting over Larson.
A third candidate who was vying to represent District D (north and west Glenwood areas) on the five-member school board, Amy Connerton, had 1,527 votes at last count.
Garfield County election officials further explained the process for any of the 107 ballots that were rejected for various reasons to be cured and added to the tally.
Voters whose ballots were rejected for lack of a signature, a signature discrepancy or improper ID have been advised that they have until Nov. 13 to cure their ballot and have it be counted.
If that happens, the county has held 154 completed ballots in reserve, with an equal mix based on geographic-area ballot type. That way, officials can protect the privacy of voters who seek to cure their ballots by mixing in some of the same type of ballot from the reserve stack, Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico explained.
In any case, all of the outstanding ballots are to be processed and scanned on Nov. 14, after which there’s a formal statewide risk audit done.
“Once the audit is complete, the local canvas board can certify the election results,” Alberico said.
UNOFFICIAL FINAL NOV. 5 ELECTION RESULTS
Roaring Fork School Board Dist. D (GarCo only)
Jasmin Ramirez — 1,936 (40%)
Shane Larson — 1,840 (38%)
Amy Connerton — 1,034 (22%)
*Including the Eagle and Pitkin portions of the school district, as of Thursday, Ramirez held an 80-vote edge
CMC Board of Trustees Dist. 2
Marianne Virgili — 5,130 (52%)
Mary Nelle Axelson — 4,684 (48%)
*Districtwide, Virgili held a 53%–47% advantage
Garfield Re-2 School Board Dist. A
Tom Slappey — 2,359 (60%)
Seth McMillen — 1,562 (40%)
Garfield Re-2 School Board Dist. B
Kirk Wilson — 2,057 (53%)
Chris Miller — 1,835 (47%)
District 16 School Board
Lynn Shore — 657 (36%)
Brittany Van Teylingen — 541 (29.37%)
Diana Lawrence — 530 (28.77%)
Garfield County Libraries mill levy (6A)
Yes — 7,359 (53%)
No — 6,511 (47%)
Glenwood Springs tobacco tax (2A)
Yes — 1,462 (61%)
No — 928 (39%)
New Castle tobacco tax (2B)
Yes — 786 (67%)
No — 393 (33%)
New Castle mill levy reauthorization (2C)
Yes — 688 (59%)
No — 486 (41%)
According to the final unofficial results from the Nov. 5 election released by Alberico’s office on Wednesday, the county saw a 38% return (14,077 completed ballots) on the 37,342 ballots that were mailed out to registered voters in the county this fall.
Statewide, the return was about 41%, with roughly 1.6 million voters completing and returning ballots out of 3.8 million registered voters in the state, according to Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s official website.
Since Colorado moved to 100% mail balloting eight years ago, turnout has been significantly higher than in the old days of going to the polls on Election Day to vote — especially in off-year elections.
But that has also introduced some new rules and regulations to ensure election security, which has made getting the returns out on Election Night more challenging.
Alberico said local election officials were inundated with more than 4,000 ballots in the final hours before voting concluded Tuesday.
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, they had recorded 10,441 ballots received. After voting closed and by the time ballots came in from the outlying balloting locations, they had received over 14,000 ballots.
“Since we started sending out the ballots by mail in 2011, it’s become pretty standard that we get 30-40% of them back on election day,” Alberico said. “I just don’t know that we’re ever going to get everything done on election night anymore, because of people dropping them on us at the last minute.”
The state is also using a different vendor this year for reporting vote tallies to the Secretary of State, which slowed the reporting process some on Tuesday night, she said.