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The voting booths are already hot

Janet Urquhart

With a pair of hot local issues on the ballot, there’s no evidence of summer’s doldrums at the Pitkin County Courthouse this week.

Early voting is bringing out plenty of folks who want to cast their votes in advance of next Tuesday’s election, according to Silvia Davis, county clerk and recorder.

Based on the voting early this week, Davis is predicting a strong local turnout for what is anything but a lackluster ballot, thanks to the recall election for County Commissioner Mick Ireland and Aspen’s advisory vote on the Burlingame affordable housing project.

“We have had a lot of people,” said Davis, reporting 136 voters who headed for the polls on Monday and 140 who cast votes Tuesday.

“I think it’s a combination of Burlingame and the recall,” she said. “The primary is pretty ho-hum. It would not be enough to draw out the vote.”

The primary, on both the Republican and Democratic tickets, features a handful of uncontested candidates for the state Legislature, Colorado secretary of state, two congressional seats, the district attorney’s office and two University of Colorado regent’s posts. Only the Republican ballot for the State Board of Education features a race between two candidates.

Because just two candidates will be on the ballot for each of the three Pitkin County commissioner seats up for election in November, there is no

need for an August primary for those posts, said Davis. Without such a local primary, next Tuesday’s voting would be pretty slow without the recall and Burlingame vote, she said.

Unaffiliated county voters who live outside of Aspen will have just one vote to cast at the polls – on the recall of Ireland and the selection of his possible replacement, Pepper Gomes or MaryEllen Schembri.

City voters have a say in the recall and on the Burlingame preannexation agreement.

The Burlingame question asks voters if the city should enter into an agreement with the Zoline family to jointly develop an affordable housing project on the city-owned Burlingame Ranch and a portion of the Zoline ranch west of Aspen.

The plan calls for up to 225 units of affordable housing, allows the Zolines to develop 12 free-market homes and a cabin on their property, and places a conservation easement on about 170 of the 219 acres involved.

Early voting continues through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the courthouse annex building.

Polling places for Tuesday’s election will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Polling places are:

Precincts 1-3 – Aspen Youth Center, 455 Rio Grande Place, Aspen.

Precinct 4 – The Common House, 701 Independence Place, Aspen.

Precinct 5 – Christ Episcopal Church, 536 W. North St., Aspen.

Precinct 6 – St. Mary’s Church, 533 E. Main St., Aspen.

Precinct 7 – First Baptist Church, 726 W. Francis St., Aspen.

Precincts 8, 19, 15 – Schultz Health and Human Services Building, 0405 Castle Creek Road, Aspen.

Precincts 10, 11 – Snowmass Chapel and Community Center, 5307 Owl Creek Road, Snowmass Village.

Precincts 12, 14, 16 – Basalt High School, 600 Southside Drive, Basalt.

Precinct 13 – Church at Redstone, 213 Redstone Blvd., Redstone.


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