Get involved this election season

The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

We’re less than six weeks away from Aspen’s municipal election, which is set for May 7.

Two City Council seats will be up for grabs as well as the mayoral post. But first things first.

If you’re not registered to vote in Colorado, there’s still time to make your voice heard in May. Simply go to, which will connect you to the Colorado secretary of state’s website. There, you can register to vote in the upcoming election, but you have to do so by April 8. Or you can drop by the county or city clerks’ offices by that date, and they’ll get your registered.

The city of Aspen doesn’t have early voting, but you still can cast an absentee ballot starting April 22. Just visit the City Clerk’s Office, on the second floor of City Hall at 130 S. Galena St., to fill out an application to absentee vote. The last day to do so is May 3.

If you’re a registered permanent mail-in voter, look for your ballot to arrive in your mailbox the last week of April.

And if you’re not sure whether you live within the city’s voting boundary, call the City Clerk’s Office at 970-429-2687 or visit its website at


No doubt, the May election will go a long way toward defining the shape of the Aspen City Council. Mayor Mick Ireland cannot seek re-election because of term limits, and six people – including four on the City Council – have announced their intentions to run for his seat.

City Councilmen Derek Johnson and Torre are nearing the end of their four-year terms and are gunning for the mayor’s post, so their seats are up for grabs. Three residents have announced their candidacies for the two open City Council seats.

And don’t forget about the possibility of a runoff.

In the mayoral contest, if a candidate does not receive at least 50 percent of the vote plus one, the top two vote-getters will go to a June 4 runoff.

In the City Council race, candidates can avoid the runoff by collecting more than (an adjusted) 45 percent of the vote – their actual percentage of the vote total is doubled because voters are allowed to cast ballots for two candidates.

Thinking about running? Nomination petitions for council and mayor are now available in the City Clerk’s Office; the deadline to turn them in is April 5.

Whether by running for office or sitting on the sidelines, we encourage residents to get involved this election season by attending candidate forums, writing letters to the local newspapers and getting to know their candidates and the issues. Squirm Night, hosted by Aspen’s two daily newspapers, is set for April 25; the Aspen Chamber Resort Association has scheduled its Business Forum for the mayor and council candidates for April 24.

That’s when the games really begin for the candidates. But the first step for Aspen residents is to register to vote – if you haven’t done so already.


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