Garfield County races get less votes than presidential contest |

Garfield County races get less votes than presidential contest

Phillip Yates
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” All politics are local.

But for hundreds of Garfield County voters, that aphorism didn’t carry much weight when they headed to the polls last week. They were more interested in this year’s historic presidential race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

Precinct-by-precinct voting results show that while 99.3 percent of county voters marked their ballot for a presidential candidate, just about 94 percent of voters made a selection in each of the two county commissioner races this year.

At least 1,243 people seemed to ignore the District 2 commissioner race between Republican John Martin and Democrat Stephen Bershenyi ” a race where Martin came out on top by 350 votes.

About 1,325 voters also didn’t mark their ballot in the battle between Republican Mike Samson and Democrat Steve Carter. Samson won that race by 658 votes.

“It is just a given that when you have a presidential race people are only interested in voting in the presidential race,” said Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico. “That is always what we see. A lot of people focus on the presidential and federal races. That is about as far as they go with their ballots.”

One key factor in Martin and Samson’s victories this year seems to be that two candidates were able to garner just a little more support in the Democratic-leaning areas of the county than their challengers were able to pick up in the Republican strongholds.

Samson was able to garner the support of about 39 percent of the voters in precincts that went for Obama, while Carter received 36 percent vote total in counties that tilted Republican this year. The same dynamic seemed true for Martin, who picked up just a sliver more support in the Democratic areas than what Bershenyi received in western Garfield County.

Final election results show that about 88 percent of the county’s registered voters turned out to vote.

Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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