UPDATE: Rifle City Council election results
New unofficial Rifle City Council elections results released Friday by the Garfield County Clerk’s office did not change standings in the tight race for the final two open seats.
Since Wednesday, first-year candidate Alicia Gresley has held a 1-vote lead over fellow first-year challenger Chris Bornholdt — 650 to 649 votes. New results now show Gresley still leading by one vote — 652-651 votes.
With the race proving too close to call, an automatic recount is expected later this month.
On Wednesday, Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico said the county hopes to schedule the recount for Nov. 23. It could occur as late as the first week of December.
The most recent polls show the following preliminary results for the Rifle City Council race:
• First place: Clint Hostettler, 987 votes
• Second place: Joe Carpenter, 971 votes
• Third place: Sean Strode, 736 votes
• Fourth place: Alicia Gresley, 652 votes
• Fifth place: Chris Bornholdt, 651 votes
• Sixth place: Derek Davis, 643 votes
• Seventh place: Tamara Degler, 602 votes
• Eighth place: Bud Demicell, 540 votes
The top four spots win a full four-year term on Rifle City Council, while the fifth and final spot wins a two-year term. An automatic recount occurs when candidates are within less than 0.5% of each other, Alberico said.
Right now the county is waiting to process about 40 ballots — of which a handful still need to be counted for the Rifle City Council race, Alberico said. Some of the reasons why the ballots have not yet been processed are ballots were dropped off at vote centers in other counties, others were dropped off at college campuses, signature errors and more.
Alberico said all 64 Colorado counties are slated to implement by Monday a risk-limiting audit to ensure ballots were tallied accurately.
A local recount could be delayed, however, if Secretary of State Jena Griswold does not give the green light for a recount after canvassing is finished, Alberico said.
This year’s off-year election shows a slight increase in voter turnout, Alberico said.
“There’s a lot of growth in the valley,” she said.
So far, the clerk’s office has seen a 40.1% turnout for Garfield County voters. Out of 37,512 total registered voters, 15,300 ballots were cast.
In 2019, voter turnout for the county’s off-year election was 38.2%. Of the total 37,342 total registered voters then, 14,263 ballots were cast.
In 2017, voter turnout for the county’s off-year election was 36.51%. Of the total 32,611 registered voters then, 11,905 ballots were cast.
Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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