The November ballot for local towns and Montezuma county is relatively light this year, but there will be plenty of action at the state and national level.
The Nov. 8 general election will be by mail ballot.
Beginning the week of Oct. 17, mail ballots will be sent to all active, registered voters to the address on your voter registration. If you are unsure of your voting status, need to update your address, make changes to your record or need to register to vote please visit www.GoVoteColorado.com or come into the Montezuma County Clerk’s office at 140 W. Main St. Suite No. 1, Cortez.
County focuses on internet planAt the county level, there are no contested races. Commissioners Larry Don Suckla and Keenan Ertel are both running unopposed for second four-year terms. Because they ran as unaffiliated candidates, Suckla and Ertel had to petition on to the ballot, gathering the required 233 and 192 signatures, respectively.
Republican Will Furse, District Attorney for the 22nd Judicial District, which covers Montezuma and Dolores Counties, is also running unopposed for a second four-year term.
Also on the ballot for Montezuma is a question on whether to opt out of SB 152, a state law that prohibits local governments from building their own telecommunication infrastructure.
Opting out of the law is a prerequisite for the county’s plan to invest in and build, a proposed broadband network to provide high-speed internet services countywide, including for the Ute Mountain tribe.
Dolores joins SB 152 effortDolores has one question on the ballot. Dolores, like Montezuma County, is asking voters to opt out of SB 152 so the town has the option of participating in a county-wide infrastructure plan to bring high-speed internet to the area.
Mancos proposes library levyMancos residents will have one item on their ballot. The Mancos Library District is asking voters for permission to increase the mill levy by 2 mills to cover increasing operating costs.
The library had more than 61,000 visits in 2015 and is vital for the Mancos middle and high schools, which do not have libraries. About $83,000 has been cut from the library’s yearly operating budget, but the library is still trying to provide the same amount of programming.
If approved the increase tax would cost homeowners about $2 per month.
Funds sought for school demolitionThe Re-1 Montezuma-Cortez school district will be asking voters for permission to spend up to $1.8 million toward demolition of the old high school. The money has been held in reserve to build a new sports stadium, but the school board agreed that the funds are needed more to tear down the old high school campus.
State has hot-button initiativesThere are eight proposed state initiatives on the ballot. Their general titles are: Prop 20 State Health Care System, Prop 96 Requirements for Initiated Constitutional Amendments, Prop 98 Primary Elections, Prop 101 State Minimum Wage, Prop 140 Presidential Primary Election, Prop 143 New Cigarette and Tobacco Taxes, Prop 145 Medical Aid in Dying, and possibly Prop 156 Prohibition on Sale of Marijuana and Liquor at Food Stores.
For more information on state ballot questions go the Colorado Secretary of State website at https://www.sos.state.co.us/ Click on the “Elections” tab then the “Initiatives” tab.
Local Colorado legislature racesIn the 59th statehouse district incumbent Republican J. Paul Brown is being challenged by Democrat Barbara Hall McLachlan. In the 58th statehouse district incumbent Republican Don Coram is running unopposed.
U.S. SenateVoters in Colorado will elect one member to the U.S. Senate in the November election. Incumbent Michael Bennet (D) is seeking re-election and will face Darryl Glenn (R), Lily Tang Williams (L), Arn Menconi (G), Bill Hammons (Unity Party), Dan Chapin (I), Paul Noel Fiorino (I), and Don Willoughby (Write-in).
Presidential raceThere are 26 pairs of presidential candidates, including front runners Donald Trump, a Republican, and Hillary Clinton, a Democrat.