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Botched election bothers Davis

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Former City Councilman Rick Davis said it’s “disconcerting” how many mistakes Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Mildred Alsdorf made during last November’s election.

Davis was ousted from his Ward 1 seat by a scant three votes, according to Alsdorf’s count. He lost the seat to current City Councilman Larry Beckwith.

But an investigation into the election and a hand recount showed that if the election had been done right, the two candidates should have at least been tied, 200-200, and that at least one person didn’t get the right ballot and couldn’t vote.



“There’s a big story out there about how horrible the process was,” he said. “I think it was very disconcerting all of the problems that they did face; the issues we raised and the ones that the investigators discovered on their own.”

After discovering some problems with the way his race was run last November, Davis contacted the Colorado Secretary of State’s office and an investigation was kicked off by Drew Durham of the Help America Vote Act in Colorado.



School District No. 16 in Parachute also challenged the results of a mill levy override question. It was defeated, but according to the recount should have passed by 17 votes.

“I don’t think that my concerns were ever about the outcome,” Davis said of his race, “and I never raised those issues. That’s why I timed my thing the way I timed it when I sent that stuff in, so that people could never talk about the what ifs or the sour grapes or the win or loss.”

“It was never about the outcome, it was always about the process,” he added.

Durham found several problems in the way Alsdorf’s office ran the election.

Those problems included errors due to conflicting instructions in ballots; inadequate training and supervision of election staff; failure to follow procedures regarding clearance of election judges; incorrect segregation of mail ballots prior to count; and at least one elector being denied access to the ballots for that elector’s proper ward.

“I don’t gloat in anybody being found to have problems, but I’m glad that we were able to find that there were issues and we were able to look toward education and training to make these things not happen again,” Davis said.

“It’ll make the clerk and recorder’s office a better place and the ballot process and the election process in Garfield County better,” he said.

Davis also said the situation illustrates how important it is for people to exercise their right to vote.

“If I do have one comment about the election and its outcome, it’s just this: People have to realize that their vote does count and one vote makes a big difference,” Davis said.

“Our people are dying overseas, and what are they dying for, they’re dying for freedom, for democracy.

“We need to honor that, we need to cherish that and we need to do what we can do in this country for that ourselves, which is to be active and take part in the process,” he said.

“So that was what it was about, making sure the process works and to encourage people to do it. One vote does count.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

gmasse@postindependent.com


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