Beeson closes gap as two of three counties finalize votes
Ryan Summerlin November 20, 2012
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The race for 9th District Attorney between incumbent Martin Beeson and challenger Sherry Caloia remains too close to call until final results are reported by Pitkin County.
Beeson gained a stronger lead Tuesday in Garfield County once provisional and cured ballots were counted there, but his new combined lead in Garfield and Rio Blanco counties is still 83 votes behind the lead Caloia held in Pitkin County on Election Day.
In the three-county judicial district, all the votes are totaled to determine the winner.
Pitkin County election manager Dwight Shellman III said Pitkin’s results should be available by Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. The county’s elections team has processed 204 provisional ballots and 100 cured ballots, but the results won’t be released until the canvass board has certified the results of the election, he said.
At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico released Garfield County’s new results, which nudged Beeson’s margin up by 15 votes in the county. He had already gained a margin of 26 votes from the final count in Rio Blanco County.
Alberico said her elections team counted 19 cured ballots, which were mail-in ballots set aside on Election Day because of various problems that have since been resolved. The team also reviewed 561 provisional ballots, and ruled that 408 of those ballots could be counted.
Of the 408, however, 57 were accepted only as “federal-state” ballots because voters showed up at the wrong community polling place in the county. As a result, only their votes in the presidential, congressional, University of Colorado regent, state judges and statewide ballot questions could be counted.
In particular, their votes in the district attorney’s race could not be counted, Alberico said.
Here’s how the numbers in the DA’s race shake out as of Tuesday, with the release of the Garfield County final numbers:
Caloia: 10,810 in Garfield, 800 in Rio Blanco, 11,610 total without Pitkin County
Beeson: 12,094 in Garfield, 2,318 in Rio Blanco, 14,412 total without Pitkin County
On Election Day, Caloia garnered 5,859 votes in Pitkin County compared to 2,974 for Beeson.
So while Beeson now has a margin of 2,802 votes from Garfield and Rio Blanco, it’s less than the 2,885-vote lead that Caloia held in Pitkin County on Election Day.
On Election Day, Caloia led by 124 votes for all three counties combined. With Tuesday’s final numbers from Garfield and Rio Blanco and Election Day numbers from Pitkin, her lead has shrunk to 83 votes.
Now, what remains to be seen is how the votes were cast in the 304 provisional and cured ballots in Pitkin County.
Pitkin County’s tally of provisional and cured ballots is also key to determining the outcome of a three-way race for a Snowmass Village Town Council seat between candidates Darryl Grob, Chris Jacobson and Stan Stokes.
The results of an advisory vote on the city of Aspen’s proposed hydroelectric facility could also be affected by the tally of yet-uncounted ballots.