At the Montezuma County Democrats headquarters on election night, the Wi-Fi password is “ImpeachTrump,” and a sheet cake awaiting celebration reads, “The Blue Wave.”
A crowd of more than 50 Democrats patiently awaited election results as they sipped beer and ate nachos. The TV broadcasting the PBS Newshour occasionally provided reason for cheers as results from the East Coast trickled in. But locally, the election to watch was the race for the Montezuma County Board of Commissioners.
Democratic candidate MB McAfee said her supporters were awake, alive and have the substance to back it up. She said she wants to represent a different voice in Montezuma County, including the growing population of young people.
Liz Bohm, co-chair of the Montezuma County Democrats, said the election presents a great opportunity for women to use their voices to stand together in solidarity and creativity.
“I feel like we’re celebrating community, democracy and volunteerism,” Bohm said.
Scott Garlid, a Dolores resident, said the election was about people trying to decide whether the country should be divided or stand together. He said McAfee is practical and pragmatic.
“We need to be unified,” Garlid said. “We’re better together.”
Nwibol Bior, a refugee from South Sudan who arrived in the United States in 1995 and now lives in Lewis, said low voter turnout in the 2014 midterm election was partly to blame for President Donald Trump’s electoral college victory in 2016. She said from now on she expects more people will pay attention and vote.
“The reason I came out to vote is to make sure our voices are heard,” Bior said.
R.J. McKay, a Mancos voter who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat spelled in Russian, said he feels really good about voting this year. He said he recently moved to Montezuma County from Texas, where he felt like a tiny blue dot in a sea of red, and now he feels like his vote matters a little bit more.
He said he appreciates the Colorado mail-in voting system. He and his wife had time to look over their ballots and research the candidates and amendments.
“I really felt like for once I was an educated voter,” McKay said.