Election 2016 Setting New Records Rick Langenberg

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The municipal elections in Woodland Park and Green Mountain Falls are setting possible participation records, as the April 5 deadline looms.

And if you haven’t voted yet and are an eligible elector in Woodland or GMF, there is still time to head to the designated election areas in both communities and to cast your ballots. A new law has made it much easier to vote in Colorado on election day.

The high preliminary turnout rate is attributed to many contested seats and issues in both cities.

For the Woodland Park election, City Clerk Suzanne Leclercq reported that 1,450 ballots had already been returned by Monday morning. This number already exceeds the total votes cast in the 2014 election and surpasses the complete tallies from a previous year.

City officials expect another big return rate today, the deadline for voting in the April 5 election. If this trend continues today, this could result in one of the biggest participation rates for a Woodland Park city election.

“This is higher than what we have had in the past,” said the city clerk, who attributes much of the early ballot barrage to interest in the school sales tax issue and the ballot propositions. Voters in Woodland Park will be deciding on 10 ballot issues, including a proposal for a slight sales tax hike to help the RE-2 School District. In addition, voters will pick a mayor among three contenders and will pick three council members.

The city mailed out a total of 5,700 ballots. For more information about the Woodland Park election, and if you haven’t received a ballot, call 719-687-5295.

In Green Mountain Falls, interest is also strong for the municipal election, with eight candidates vying for a mayor’s spot and three trustee positions. The town is still besieged with signs from two competing political camps.

According to El Paso County election officials, who are running the election, 167 ballots were returned by April 1. That’s a pretty impressive number in the preliminary stages, as the town only has a little more than 400 registered voters. And like Woodland Park, a good number of voters don’t return their ballots in GMF until the election deadline day, based on historic trends.

According to interim clerk Renee Price, residents can still return their ballots, and even vote in person, at the GMF Town Hall on April 5 until 7 p.m. For more information, call 719-684-9414.

Based on a new state law, people who have resided in the area for 22 days or more, can register to vote on election day, even if they are not considered a current active voter.

For up-to-date election results and analysis of the municipal votes in Woodland Park and Green Mountain Falls, visit www.mountainjackpot.com. We will provide you with full coverage of the April 5 election on-line and in our next printed issue. For more information, call 719-687-0803.