Rifle ballot questions look to modify city’s election rules
The Rifle municipal election will be held in less than three months as ballots will need to be cast by September 10 this year.
Two questions will likely be asked this year’s ballot both dealing with election procedure.
The two questions were approved unanimously on first reading at last week’s city council meeting.
The first question seeks to change the charter to better align with new state laws.
Colorado election code requires 10 days from the election until the results are certified in order to allow for the verification of signatures and the receipt of every ballot, according to Rifle City Clerk Kristy Christensen.
The current city charter states newly elected council members shall begin the first Monday following the election. To be compatible with the 10-day requirement, the question will ask voters to change the term of newly elected council members to begin the first organizational meeting of the new council.
Christensen said the only way to change the Rifle charter rules are to put them on the ballot and ask voters.
City attorney Jim Neu said the change helps clean up some charter regarding the city’s election.
The second question looks to amend the charter to have the Rifle election match up better with county and state elections when possible.
It looks to amend the charter to hold the Rifle election in November in odd numbered years (changing it from the second Tuesday of September), which would coordinate with Garfield County and the state.
Among the advantages to this change, Christensen said, would be that it would save the city money and it would likely increase voter participation.
Three city council seats are up in September with councilors Joe Elliot, Ed Green and Clint Hostettler needing to be reelected if they choose.
Candidate packets are available at rifleco.org and at Rifle City Hall.
Candidates can begin circulating nomination petitions until July 1.
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Election results for the Nov. 5 races in western Garfield County were confirmed.