Jill Beathard

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November 13, 2012
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Outcome of council race remains a mystery

SNOWMASS VILLAGE - In an election scenario unprecedented in the community, Snowmass Village is still waiting to find out who its newest Town Council member is, and it won't find out until Nov. 19 at the earliest.

On Election Day, Nov. 6, Mayor Bill Boineau and Councilwoman Markey Butler garnered enough votes to assure re-election to their respective positions. For the second open council seat, however, candidate Chris Jacobson was only leading by four votes as of election night, and 64 provisional ballots remain to be counted.

As of preliminary results on election night, Butler had 669 votes, Jacobson 503, Darryl Grob 499, and Stan Stokes 471.

According to Pitkin County election manager Dwight Shellman, the county first does a physical count of the provisional ballots. The committee that then reviews provisional ballots for their eligibility doesn't meet until Nov. 19, according to Shellman, so that's the earliest the race could be decided.

According to the secretary of state's website, a provisional ballot is provided to a voter whose eligibility can't be immediately established on Election Day. There are several scenarios in which that can happen: Provisional ballots are often provided to people who showed up to vote in the wrong precinct, whose address wasn't current, or were recorded as having mailed in a ballot.

The new members were scheduled to be sworn in at the council's next regular meeting on Nov. 19, but according to Snowmass Village director of communications Kelly Vaughn, the town doesn't swear in new officials until it receives certified results from the county election office. Terms for the officials don't end until the new members are sworn in, so the current council will proceed with the next regular meeting, and the swearing in will likely take place Dec. 3.

Longtime town staff members say this is the first time they remember this happening in a Town Council race.

"It just goes to show how important it is for everyone in a community - especially one of this size - to get out to vote, as decisions can be made by such a narrow margin," Vaughn said.


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The Aspen Times Updated Nov 13, 2012 04:53PM Published Nov 13, 2012 04:50PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.