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Flawed election will stand unless

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Mid-Valley Metropolitan District will honor the results of a flawed election unless a formal protest is filed, according to the head of the district’s board of directors.

Board president Ted Guy said the district would also invalidate the election if it is challenged.

“We’re not going to spend any money defending it,” he said.

The sanitation district’s proposed mill levy increase was approved by the slim margin of 122 to 119 in Eagle County. However, an unknown number of people who were eligible to vote on the issue didn’t receive a ballot that offered the question, according to Eagle County Clerk Sara Fisher. The clerk’s office didn’t have all the street addresses for people eligible to vote on the question, she said.

The unusual circumstances have led to a lot of confusion. The closeness of the vote automatically triggered a recount. Fisher was uncertain when that will occur.

She said voters who cast ballots but didn’t get a chance to weigh in on the Mid-Valley Metro District question could protest the election. She was uncertain of the deadline for that protest, but suggested anyone considering such a move should file a complaint with Eagle County District Court as soon as possible. The complaint would then be forwarded to the district attorney’s office, which would investigate what went wrong.

If such a complaint is filed, the sanitation district would invalidate the results and likely use revenue bonds to upgrade its sewage treatment facilities. The district wants to replace a lagoon system with a treatment plant, said Guy.

The district hopes to use income from new sewer and water hook-ups to fund construction of the plant regardless of the election, he said. However, the property tax increase gives the district extra security and another option for repaying bonds for the plant work.

Fisher said the day of the recount will be dictated by the Colorado secretary of state’s order for a statewide recount on the state board of education race. It could come as soon as this week.

Fisher said no re-vote is likely on the sanitation district question as part of this election, based on her direction from the secretary of state’s office.

“The basis is the voter needs to take some responsibility,” she said.

Anyone with a question about the issue can contact Fisher at 970-328-8710.

In another close race in Eagle County, the results of the County Commission District 2 contest were among those certified Wednesday. Democrat Arn Menconi maintained a 39-vote victory margin over Republican Steve Morris.

The Eagle County Republican Central Committee claimed some ineligible voters were allowed to cast ballots in the race. They asked Fisher to identify and purse ballots of people who re-registered.

Fisher responded in writing that she didn’t believe any ineligible voters were allowed to participate.

The Republicans or Morris would have to take their protests to a court to overturn the results.


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