Ballots are thick this year |

Ballots are thick this year

Fasten your seat belts, if you intend to vote in this year’s general election Nov. 7, you could be spending a goodly chunk of time in the voting booth. Election ballots will have pages and pages of questions and candidates to choose from. Garfield County Clerk Mildred Alsdorf has two words of advice for voters, “absentee ballots.””I’m encouraging the use of absentee ballot because there is such a large ballot this year,” she said. “(Voters) will want to think about it and it will take a long time to vote.”Absentee ballot application forms are available at the county clerk’s offices in Glenwood Springs and Rifle, and on line at (click on “election”). Application forms are also available at the six county libraries.This year’s general election in Garfield County will see some changes for voters. The county will have electronic voting machines in all 10 polling places. Two types of machines will be available, an “E-slate,” or touch-screen voting machine and an “E-scan” that records and counts paper ballots.Beginning on Monday, Oct. 23, voters can go to one of two general polling places, at the county courthouse in Glenwood Springs and at the county human services building, 195 W. 14th St. in Rifle. Both polling places are open to all Garfield County voters no matter where they live.On Nov. 7, voters will have to cast their votes in one of 10 polling places across the county.Voters will have a large slate of local candidates this year. Trési Houpt and Steve Reynolds are facing off for county commissioner District. 1. Jean Alberico and Marion Clayton are vying for county clerk, Georgia Chamberlain and Gala Ivie for county treasurer, Shannon Hurst and John Gorman for county assessor and David Nicholson and Scott Aibner for county surveyor. Uncontested races include county sheriff and county see page 4There are also 14 local ballot questions: Formation of a Garfield County Library District and funding with either property tax or sales tax; continuation of a 1 percent Rifle sales tax for parks and recreation; increase a Rifle sales tax .2 percent to 3.7 percent to fund the public bus system; an amendment to the Rifle city charter as to when newly elected officials begin their terms of office; a home rule charter for Silt; a home rule charter for Parachute and appointment of nine charter members; a $1.8 million bond to fund Carbondale renewable energy facilities; a $1.6 million bond for Garfield School District Re-2 for teacher salaries, fuel costs and utilities; a $74.9 million bond for Re-2 for school construction and renovation; Garfield School District 16 (Parachute) bond for $35 million for land acquisition, construction and renovation, and $128.37 million for the Eagle County School District for construction and renovation.Specific questions that will appear on a particular ballot will depend on where voters live, Alsdorf said.She also urged voters to submit a change of address if they have moved, in order to update voter registration information.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510dgray@postindependent.comBreakout:The Nov. 7 election is a month and a half away, and there are some election deadlines of note that are coming up.• Oct. 10: Last day to register to vote in the general election• Oct. 23: Early voting begins• Oct. 31: Last day to apply for an absentee ballot• Oct. 27: Last day to apply for an absentee ballot if it’s to be mailed• Nov. 3: Last day for early voting, and to apply for an absentee ballot if it’s not mailed• Nov. 7: General election

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