City says ballot correction followed protocol
A typographical error on the ballot for a Sept. 8 special city of Glenwood Springs election that went out to voters last month was caught in time and corrected according to protocol, and should not affect the validity of the election, city officials said.
Ballots mailed to 4,788 registered city voters the week of Aug. 17 include a single question asking for voter permission to have the city enter into negotiations with the Roaring Fork School District about a possible land swap related to the proposed Glenwood Springs Elementary School building project and eventual confluence area redevelopment.
However, one of the street addresses for the two city-owned parcels referenced in the question was transposed, reading 914 School St., which doesn’t exist, rather than the correct address of 941 School St.
A second address of 1015 School St., which is the location of the city’s current recycling center, is correct on the ballot.
City Attorney Karl Hanlon acknowledged that the question arose about whether the discrepancy might affect the outcome of the voting but said proper procedures were followed to correct the error and inform voters.
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“We looked into it, and given the situation and timing of discovering the error after ballots were printed and distributed, we believe the steps taken are consistent with the statutory requirements for the city clerk to correct the error,” Hanlon said.
That included an advertisement that has been running in the Post Independent giving the correct address and information about the parcels in question, City Clerk Catherine Mythen said.
The ad has appeared in the Post Independent four times and is scheduled to run again Monday, she said. The corrected information has also been posted at three different locations at City Hall, and is on the city of Glenwood Springs website, at http://www.ci.glenwood-springs.co.us.
The city question, if approved, would authorize the city to entertain a possible land trade with the school district, which last week formally decided to place a $122 million bond issue question on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Of that amount, $20.1 million would go toward a $29.2 million overhaul of Glenwood Elementary using parts of the existing building and reconfiguring the campus using the two parcels that would be acquired from the city for a playground, parking and student pick-up/drop-off areas.
The city in turn would negotiate to acquire what’s now school district-owned land north of the school, including Vogelaar Park. That particular area is being eyed for a possible mix of residential and commercial development as part of the larger confluence development master plan.
Earlier this year, the school district was selected for a $9.1 million state Building Excellent Schools Today grant to help pay for the Glenwood school project. The larger bond issue that’s proposed would involve another new K-8 school south of Glenwood Springs, teacher housing and new facilities in Carbondale and Basalt.
As for the city question, Mythen said that as of Thursday approximately 650 ballots had been completed and returned to the City Clerk’s Office.
City voters have until 7 p.m. next Tuesday to return their ballots to City Hall. Ballots are being accepted through Friday at two locations in City Hall and at the east entrance to the Garfield County Courthouse. Same-day voter registration and voting will also be accommodated on election day in the downstairs Council Chambers at City Hall, 101 W. Eighth St., Mythen said.
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