Voter turnout for municipal elections in the Cortez, Dolores and Mancos municipal elections was “excellent,” Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell said on Tuesday.
All three municipalities elected council members, and Dolores elected a mayor.
Cortez voters decided on a ballot question to extend and reduce the sales tax that funds the Cortez Recreation Center.
Voters who hadn’t mailed in their ballots could still drop them off at the Cortez, Dolores and Mancos city halls until 7 p.m.
“Voter turnout has been excellent,” Percell said Tuesday night. “There has been a lot of interest in town board positions, and it is exciting to see so many people step up to serve their community.”
Election judges started counting the ballots Monday afternoon, according to Cortez Clerk Linda Smith. Preliminary results were complete by 8:35 p.m. Tuesday.
Voter turnout varied between the different towns. In Cortez, 1,502 votes were cast for the City Council races and Ballot Issue 2A. That’s 25.38 percent of the number of active, registered voters in town, according to Percell. But Smith said that’s fairly typical for Cortez. Earlier Tuesday, she predicted that the city would beat the turnout of the 2016 municipal election, in which 1,385 people voted.
“My goal is (1,500), but I don’t know if we’ll get there,” Smith said.
In Cortez, eight candidates, including two incumbents, were running for five open seats on the City Council. Cortez voters also approved Ballot Question 2A, which extends and reduces the sales tax that funds the Cortez Recreation Center.
Mancos reported the lowest turnout, with 220 votes – 21.89 percent of the town’s active voters. Town Administrator Heather Alvarez said 266 people voted in the town’s uncontested 2016 election.
“I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we will pass that number,” she said earlier Tuesday.
This year, five candidates were running for four open seats on the board of trustees in Mancos’ first contested election in several years.
In Dolores, voter turnout was a different story. By Monday, 236 ballots had been turned in. By the end of voting on Tuesday, 279 residents had cast votes, or 36.61 percent of active voters. Town Clerk Lana Hancock said that before this year, the highest voter turnout she’d seen for a municipal election was 156 voters.
“I think there’s just more information out there,” she said. “We have lots of candidates, lots of friends of those candidates, and people just know more about what’s going on.”
This year, 11 candidates were running for four seats on the Dolores Town Board, and two candidates were running for mayor.
All three town halls stayed open until 7 p.m. to collect ballots.