Aspen’s Election Day is here: It’s now or never to cast votes
Voter turnout in the last five city of Aspen elections:
May 2017: 2,413 out of 6,400 registered voters
June 2017 runoff: 1,840 out of 6,439 registered voters
May 2015: 2,542 out of 6,238 registered voters
June 2015: 1,989 out of 6,214 registered voters
May 2013: 2,288 out of 4,432 registered voters
June 2013: 1,753 out of 4,435 registered voters
May 2011: 1,794 out of 3,225 registered voters
May 2009: 2,544 out of 5,681 registered voters
With just hours left before the polls close in the Aspen municipal election, candidates for mayor and council and those on both sides of a development ballot question are pulling out their last-ditch campaign efforts today.
Candidates have said they will be knocking on doors in high-density, affordable-housing complexes, calling voters who have not yet cast their ballots, pushing “get out the vote” messages on social media and standing on street corners waiving signs asking for votes.
City Hall is the only place Aspen voters can cast their votes today; they should not be mailed. Ballots brought in after 7 p.m. will not be counted.
Today is an historic election because it is the first time it’s being held in March. City elections have traditionally been held in May, until a group of citizens last fall put a referendum on the ballot asking to change the date to the first Tuesday in March, when they argued more people are in town.
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As of 5 p.m. Monday, 2,010 ballots had been cast, according to Deputy City Clerk Nicole Henning. On the eve of the city elections in May 2017, 1,887 ballots had been cast.
Aspen residents are voting on a new mayor and two council members, along with deciding a ballot question asking whether to approve a redevelopment plan for the base of Aspen Mountain’s west side.
The developers behind the Lift One Corridor Plan have spent close to $300,000 in their campaign. The opposition has mustered about $15,000.
Candidates have raised and spent anywhere between $4,000 and $13,000.
A new issue committee emerged last week, according to a campaign filing reported submitted to the city.
Aspen resident Bruce Etkin established the committee, named “Sponsors of Women in Leadership.” He reported putting in $5,000 for newspaper ads and other marketing efforts to support three female candidates.
“He wanted to support the three women and do some ads and promote women in leadership,” said Ashley Feddersen, the registered agent for the committee.
There are four candidates for mayor and four for council.
Per the city’s home rule charter, candidates for mayor must receive 50 percent plus one vote to win the seat; council candidates must receive 45 percent plus one vote to win.
If they fail to do that, there will be a runoff election April 2.
Adam Frisch, Torre, Ann Mullins and Cale Mitchell are running for mayor. Rachel Richards, Skippy Mesirow, Linda Manning and Bert Myrin are running for council.
There are 5,398 registered, active voters in Aspen, according to Pitkin County Clerk Janice Vos Caudill.
She said about four or five people a day have been coming into the office to update their voter information or to register to vote, and about 10 did so online.
Colorado residents of 22 days or more can register to vote up until Election Day, either at the city or county clerk’s offices, or online at http://www.pitkinvotes.com or http://www.govotecolorado.com.
Election results will be covered live on GrassRoots TV. Aspen Times columnist Roger Marolt and Aspen Daily News columnist Lo Semple will anchor the show from City Hall starting at 7:30 p.m.
The results, analysis and conversations will air on GrassRoots TV channels 12 and 880, live-streamed on GrassRootsTV.org, the GrassRoots Community Network Facebook page and YouTube channel.
The Grey Lady is hosting an election party starting at 2 p.m. open to all concerned with the Aspen election — voters, candidates, proponents and opponents of the Lift One question.
“We wanted to invite people who are for Lift One and against Lift One and for all candidates,” said Grey Lady owner Ryan Chadwick. “The idea is to bring people together before the election results come in.”
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Tuesday is election day in Basalt. A new mayor will be elected and three council seats filled. Town officials are urging residents not to wait until the last day to cast their ballots.