Pitkin County sees first uncontested primary in a long time | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County sees first uncontested primary in a long time

Joel Stonington

For the first time in a long time, Pitkin County is holding a completely uncontested primary election. There is a statewide primary election Aug. 8 for the Republican and Democratic nominations for positions such as Colorado governor, secretary of state, state treasurer and certain county positions. In most counties, there are many contested races, but in Pitkin County, there’s only one person running from either party for each position. For instance, in Eagle County, the positions of District 2 commissioner and assessor are both contested on the Republican side. There are also two Democratic candidates for District 2 commissioner. Colorado’s secretary of state is projecting a 15 percent turnout, partially because nearly 1 million out of the state’s 2.9 million registered voters are unaffiliated. Turnout here in Pitkin County could be lower: Unless a voter wants to write in a candidate, this is basically a practice election. “We do have new voting equipment that is American Disabilities Act-compliant,” said Pitkin County Clerk Janice K. Vos Caudill. “This is good. We’re setting the machines up for the first time.”The new touch-screen voting machines in Pitkin County leave a paper trail. Their main purpose is to help people who have movement and visual impairments. The new machines the county is using record votes on paper as well as electronically. The backup paper trail is designed to avoid election irregularities attributable at least in part to voting machines that log votes only electronically.”Per state statute we have no other alternative than to conduct an election,” Caudill said.Although Caudill couldn’t say the cost of this primary election, the recall election of 9th District Attorney Colleen Truden cost $25,000. Ouch. What may be most interesting about this election, though, is that the donkeys and elephants are in the same boat – both agree it’s important to get out and vote.”Showing voter interest and strong support for an excellent slate of candidates is what’s important at this point,” said Camilla Auger, chairwoman of the Pitkin County Democratic Party. The Pitkin County Republican Party chairwoman, Linda McCausland, also urged people to get out and vote.”People should give some consideration to the people around the world going through hardships to get the right to vote,” said McCausland, the Republican chairwoman. “To me, there’s every reason to bother because someone has died in a foreign country to give you the right to vote.”Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com