Clerk works to determine status of Aspen runoff election |

Clerk works to determine status of Aspen runoff election

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

Officials are expecting a decision by 5 p.m. today on whether Mick Ireland and Bert Myrin will compete in a runoff election for the final open Aspen City Council seat, City Attorney Jim True said Wednesday.

City Clerk Linda Manning and her staff are working to verify 23 outstanding ballots. She will have until 5 p.m. to determine the status of 20 signature issues, two address issues and one ballot that did not turn up in the city’s system. If the ballots cannot be verified, they will not be counted.

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s election determined Councilman Adam Frisch as the winner of the first open council seat, with 1,207 votes, which surpassed the 1,002 threshold needed to win. Political activist Myrin came in second with 990 votes, while former Aspen mayor and Pitkin County Commissioner Mick Ireland earned 881 votes.

True said Wednesday that it would take a highly unusual voting pattern with the remaining ballots for Myrin to win the second seat outright. As more ballots are verified, the threshold to win increases. True said that in one scenario, if all 23 ballots were verified, and each voter selected two choices for council, Myrin would need 22 more votes, as the threshold would increase to 1,012. True also said that if the final count for Myrin is within six votes of the threshold, it would trigger a mandatory recount.

In order to verify ballots, the city has sent out affidavits, which the voters must sign and send back with voter-identification information.

Both Ireland and Myrin helped craft language for Referendum 1, a growth-control measure that Aspen voters approved Tuesday. The referendum, which elevates Aspen’s electorate above the council as final authority on specific land-use variances, goes into the effect when election results are certified, which are expected today.

The runoff date is scheduled for June 2. Ballots would go out May 15 and early voting would commence May 18.