Roughly 100 voters in Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 Director District D received the wrong ballots in the 2011 mail-in ballot election, according to Montezuma County Clerk Carol Tullis.
We had a computer glitch that wouldnt pick up addresses when we put them in Director District D, Tullis said Tuesday. Instead of receiving a ballot with just (Proposition) 103 and (Referendum) 3A, they received ballots with all the (school board) candidates.
Voters living in District D, the southwest corner of the school district, are not able to vote for at-large candidates in school board elections due to the districts status as a closed district.
District D was closed by federal court action several years ago with the intention of achieving equal representation on the board from the Towaoc area and the Ute Mountain Ute tribe. School board member Eric Whyte holds the seat and will be up for re-election in 2013.
In this years election, roughly 100 active voters living on Apple Drive, Baker Ave., Catalpa Street, Colfax Ave., Detroit Street and Juniper Place received ballots listing the eight candidates running for four seats on the Re-1 board.
The clerks office discovered the mistake when a voter called the district and asked about the ballot.
We found out about it just a few days after ballots were mailed out, Tullis said. When we got to looking, it was just that one little group. We arent sure why it happened. When we look at the districts in the computer, it says those streets are in that district, but for some reason when we sent the database to the printer it didnt pick up.
Tullis said the same issue occurred in 2008 when the streets were first added to District D.
Weve called our printer and our trainer and the state, and no one can answer what is going on, she said. It is an issue we will continue to work on.
Voters who returned ballots from the impacted area were contacted regarding the invalid ballot format and given the option to fill out a new ballot or have an employee of the clerks office duplicate the ballot. Tullis said approximately 50 voters who returned their ballots have been appraised of the situation.
None of the inaccurate ballots was counted.
We are watching it very closely, Tullis said. All of those votes will count whether they come in and replace the ballot or give us permission to duplicate it. It was the ballot that was the issue, not the voter action, so we can duplicate the ballots... . This will not impact the election.
Reach Kimberly Benedict at firstname.lastname@example.org.