D-16 election results still up in air
No recount is planned for the Glenwood Springs street tax but whether one will be required for a school board election in Parachute isn’t yet clear. Glenwood Springs city clerk Robin Unsworth said the vote margin in the half-cent street tax wasn’t close enough to require a recount under state law. The measure passed 1,113-1,101, or 50.3 to 49.7.The outcome of the Garfield County School District 16 election could be affected by more than 100 ballots that may still need to be counted, however.Garfield County Clerk Mildred Alsdorf said under the requirement of a new state law, her office has contacted about 100 voters who didn’t sign the envelopes in which they returned their mail-in ballot or whose signatures didn’t match those on file with the county. They have until Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. to vote, she said.”We sent letters to all those people and it’s up to them what they do,” she said.She didn’t know how many of those voters live in District 16, but said the outcome of the nine-candidate election there could be affected by the late ballots.”It’s not finished yet,” Alsdorf said.The top-three vote-getters in the race will join the school board. According to the unofficial results, Amy Beasley won with 564 votes, followed by Gary Munyer with 472 and Dannette Christensen with 466. Denise Gallegos fell just short with 457 votes. Bill Middleton was a more distant fifth, with 401 votes.Until this year’s election, the county called people with signature problems and gave them until Election Day to fix them, Alsdorf said.”Somebody decided no, they needed to give them more time, and so we had the change in the law,” she said.Alsdorf said the law shouldn’t affect the passage of the New Castle RFTA and Grand River Hospital District term limit measures because neither vote was close.Another 25 ballots have yet to be counted in Tuesday’s election, Alsdorf said. She said the county is required to withhold additional ballots while waiting on the late ballots so that if only a few come in, no one will know how those voters voted because the additional 25 ballots will be counted as well.Although the new law could affect the school board race, Unsworth said it doesn’t apply to municipal elections.She said the city received 30 “spoiled ballots,” meaning the voters didn’t sign their envelopes before mailing them, removed the attached stub before placing them in the envelopes, “or something of that nature.” Another envelope contained a county ballot instead of a city one. Sixteen ballots had no votes cast, Unsworth said.As for a recount, Unsworth said it would be required under state law if the difference between the highest number of votes cast, and second-highest, equals no more than a half of 1 percent of that highest number. That would amount to about 5.5 votes, instead of the 12-vote margin. Unsworth said a recount still can be requested, but the person doing so would have to put up money equaling the estimated cost of the recount into an escrow account, and would get it back only if the results are overturned. She said she didn’t have an estimate of what that cost might be.Stan Stevens, who has spoken out against the city tax, said he would not request a recount.Stevens said the city has no incentive to conduct a recount to make sure it got the election results right. The city ran the election and wanted the tax measure passed, he said.”So there’s no way they’re going to gladly try to find out if they were wrong,” he said.Unsworth expressed confidence in the accuracy of the election count. She said election judges proceeded slowly and carefully in the counting, which lasted until about midnight, hours longer than in most Glenwood municipal elections.”I’m very confident in the judges. They checked and rechecked. We could see that it was going to be very close so they were very careful,” she said.The ballots were counted by hand rather than machine.”I think with the judges we had, the way they checked and double-checked, I don’t think a machine could have done as well,” Unsworth said.”I think with the judges we had, the way they checked and double-checked, I don’t think a machine could have done as well,” Unsworth said.
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