Hayden’s Referendum 3B could shift

Provisional, unsigned mail ballots could tip school funding vote

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— With Referendum 3B hanging by just a few votes, Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said it’s possible for the results to shift as provisional and unsigned mail ballots are counted.

Referendum 3B would send $321,473 to Hayden schools. Referendum 3A, with a more comfortable margin of 151 votes, would provide $354,357 through property tax to South Routt schools.

Weinland said there are 27 provisional ballots that could affect the 3B vote. She said she doesn’t know the number of unsigned mail ballots yet to be counted but it should be fewer than the 263 provisional ballots.

Ballots are considered provisional if there are questions about them — for example, a signature on a ballot not matching the signature on file for that voter. Clerks send a notice to anyone with an unsigned ballot and the voter has 10 days to verify the vote and have it counted.

Weinland has until Nov. 22 to certify the ballots in this and other races to make the results official.

Routt County sheriff

After mail ballots pushed All Crimes Enforcement Team Commander Garrett Wiggins solidly ahead of Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall, Weinland said there are not enough outstanding ballots to change the race.

Wiggins surged from a lead of 169 votes to a lead of 927 votes when mail ballots results were released to win 55 to 45 percent.

Wall and Wiggins could not be reached by phone for additional comments today.

Hayden Town Council

The final seat on the Hayden Town Council results were close Wednesday morning, with outgoing Mayor Lorraine Johnson retaining the council’s fourth seat with an 18-vote lead over next-closest Tom Rogalski and a 21-vote lead over Pam Gann.

It now appears her seat is safe as Weinland said there are just 16 provisional ballots and fewer unsigned mail ballots from the town.

Johnson leads Rogalski 11.4 percent to 10.5 percent.

State election law calls for an automatic recount of elections if the results are within one half of 1 percent. If the disparity is greater than one half of 1 percent of the winning candidate — Johnson currently — the candidate or “interested party” who called for the recount is responsible for the cost of the recount.

In Routt County, a recount would entail rescanning the ballots for the races the recount was called for.

Ballot counting delay

Final Routt County results, including race-deciding mail ballots, weren’t released until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Weinland said the delay was caused by the software used to read the scanned images of the ballots.

— To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

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