Aspen will hold May mail-in election
The city of Aspen will hold its May 5 election as a mail-in election rather than conducting it with traditional polling places, the Aspen City Council decided Monday.
Aspen’s City Clerk Linda Manning proposed the change based on the state legislature’s adopting of two bills that affect the way municipal elections are conducted. Mayor Steve Skadron spoke against switching to a mail-in election with an accompanying voting center, saying polling places are familiar and fit in with small-town tradition. Councilman Art Daily agreed, changing his stance from the previous time the council discussed the topic. He said polling places strengthen Aspen’s sense of community.
Councilman Dwayne Romero said he’s patriotic and understands Skadron’s concern, but added that he doesn’t believe this new platform will “make or break” patriotism in Aspen. While Councilman Adam Frisch said Skadron’s heart was in the right place, he argued that those “who are jazzed up” about voting in person can still cast their ballots at the voting center.
The first piece of legislation that influenced the decision, House Bill 1303, was adopted in 2013 and requires counties to mail ballots to all registered voters. House Bill 1164 was signed in February and provided for municipalities and special districts to conduct mail-in ballot elections.
Officials plan to submit an ordinance tied to Monday’s change that would alter candidates’ deadlines for submitting their petitions to enter into the election. If passed, the deadline to submit signatures from 25 registered voters would be moved up from April 5 to March 9.
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A local man with ties to a notorious string of armed robberies in the Aspen area in 1999 admitted Monday to robbing the Theatre Aspen concession stand with a screwdriver a year ago.