A total of 15,840 ballots were cast in the Nov. 6 election, just slightly higher than the 15,343 votes cast in 2011. County clerk Ann Eddins shared the unofficial numbers this week which indicate 79 percent of the county's voters voted by mail, 6 percent voted early and 15 percent went to the polls on Election Day.
Ninety-five percent of the county's 16,671 active voters cast ballots. A total of 21,012 county residents are registered to vote.
The official totals could change slightly, Eddins added, as there are some uncured signatures and provisionals that could affect the total.
As expected, Republican candidates — from presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to county commissioner candidates Bruce Hovde and Mark Roeber — received strong support.
In an uncontested race for District 2 county commissioner, Hovde received 11,860 votes. In District 3, 71 percent (10,556) of the votes went to Roeber. Democrat Scott Wilson picked up 3,971 votes, while Mike Mason, a write-in candidate, received 367 votes.
Two questions regarding the lifting of term limits, one for the county sheriff and the other for the county coroner, passed by comfortable margins. Both Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee, who is in his third term of office, and county coroner Kevin Lucy, in his first term, are eligible to remain in office as long as they choose to run for office and voters choose to re-elect them.
The third county question dealt with retaining revenues derived from impact fees on new development which would otherwise be subject to TABOR limits. Voters approved that question by a margin of 59-42 percent, with the understanding those funds will be used for public safety, county road and brige improvements, and public health and human services purposes.
Delta County, like much of rural Colorado, voted against the legalization of marijuana, a measure that gained statewide approval from 55 percent of Colorado voters.
After the votes were tallied, state attorney general John Suthers issued the following press release:
"Despite my strongly- held belief that the 'legalization' of marijuana on a state level is very bad public policy, voters can be assured that the attorney general's office will move forward in assisting the pertinent executive branch agencies to implement this new provision in the Colorado Constitution.
"Coloradans should be cognizant of two caveats, however. First the ability of the federal government to criminally sanction possession, use and distribution of marijuana, even if grown, distributed and used in a single state, was recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Raich. Therefore, absent action by Congress, Coloradans should not expect to see successful legal challenges to the ability of the federal government to enforce its marijuana laws in Colorado. Accordingly, I call upon the United States Department of Justice to make known its intentions regarding prosecution of activities sanctioned by Amendment 64 (particularly large wholesale grow operations) as soon as possible in order to assist state regulators and the citizens of Colorado in making decisions about the implementation of Amendment 64.
"Secondly, the proponents of Amendment 64 told voters that it imposed a surtax of up to 15 percent on marijuana sales that would result in up to $40 million each year going to K-12 schools in the state. In fact Amendment 64 did not comply with required language under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights and no such tax will be imposed. Instead it will be up to the Colorado Legislature whether to refer such a tax to the voters and up to the voters of Colorado whether to actually impose the tax. Therefore, such revenue is speculative and will not be forthcoming when Amendment 64 begins to be implemented."blog comments powered by Disqus