Eagle County open space measure falls by two votes in unofficial tally | AspenTimes.com

Eagle County open space measure falls by two votes in unofficial tally

A proposal to buy and preserve open space in Eagle County fell by only two votes in the final unofficial tally last night, according to county Clerk Sara Fisher.

The open space district fell by a vote of 5,456 to 5,454. However, 388 “provisional” ballots may still need to be counted and could swing the outcome, Fisher said.

Provisional voting is a new practice in Colorado enabled by a law passed in the 2002 legislative session.

?Provisional ballots are available to voters at their polling location when their name does not appear on the voter registration book,” Fisher explained in a prepared statement. “Voters in this situation are given an opportunity to complete a provisional ballot affidavit and vote a provisional ballot. Election officials must verify the information provided in the affidavit prior to tabulation of the provisional votes cast.?

Fisher didn’t release a deadline for when the provisional ballots would be checked and, if appropriate, counted.

Proponents of the open space district rallied around a campaign theme that the time is now to preserve the remaining open spaces of Eagle County. The proposal would have raised property taxes by 1.5 mill or about $14 per $100,000 of home value.

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In other Eagle County races:

?Incumbent County Commissioner Tom Stone, a Republican, topped Democrat Gerry Sandberg and unaffiliated candidate Laurie Bower. Like in 1998 when he first won election, Stone benefited from a split vote among his opponents.

Stone had 5,021 votes, or 45 percent, while Sandberg had 4,402 votes, or 40 percent, and Bower earned 1,695 votes or 15 percent.

?Republican Joe Hoy was elected sheriff over Bill Kaufman, 5,861 to 4,862 votes or 55 to 45 percent.

?Term limits were eliminated for every elected county position except county commissioner.

[Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com]

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