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GarCo has 51 percent voter turnout

The votes are officially tallied for the November election. Garfield County, according to clerk and recorder Mildred Alsdorf, had a 51 percent voter turnout. That’s about usual for an off-year election when mail-in ballots are used, she said.”We’re pretty close (to that percentage) on mail-in ballots” every off-year, Alsdorf said.This year in the county, 11,725 people voted out of 22,897 active registered voters, she said.A handful of local ballot questions and two statewide referendums drew voters.Locally, voters in Glenwood Springs narrowly passed a half-cent street tax, and New Castle voters approved continuation of a 0.4 percent sales tax for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s bus service.In the western part of the county, voters in Garfield County School District No. 16 named three new school board candidates: Amy Beasley, Gary Munyer and Danette Christensen.Voters in the Grand River Hospital District imposed a three-term limit on hospital board members.Statewide, Referendums C and D drew a good deal of attention. While Ref. C passed across the state, it was soundly defeated in Garfield County. Ref. D failed both in the county and in the state.Under Ref. C, the state will keep $3.7 billion in tax refunds over five years that otherwise would have been returned to residents according to the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, a constitutional amendment that caps government spending.Red. D would have allowed the state to borrow up to $2.1 billion for roads, schools, pensions and other projects.”I think people were very interested in C and D” and that helped the voting numbers, Alsdorf said. Also, “with mail-in ballots we get a higher turnout. People can do them at home. It makes a big difference,” she said.Colorado Secretary of State Gigi Dennis announced Tuesday that Colorado had a 49.85 percent voter turnout in November, the highest odd-year turnout ever.”I am pleased to see the voter turnout trend during odd-year elections is increasing,” Dennis said in a prepared statement. “I hope this is a signal that Coloradans are getting used to odd-year elections and taking the opportunity to make their voice heard.”Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510dgray@postindependent.com


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