Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams always gets rave reviews about Dominion Voting Systems, the firm he selected to provide voting equipment to counties statewide, but during his visit to Delta County last week he heard a first:
"That means we don't get to spend as much time together," election judge Debbie Cole told Williams when he stopped by the Delta County clerk and recorder's office to visit with clerk Teri Stephenson and her staff.
At that lament, Williams let out a huge laugh. He told the judges he had never heard that one before.
Stephenson said the election judges told her afterward how surprised they were that the secretary of state "was such a down-to-earth, normal guy."
"And we always brag on our election judges so it was great that Wayne got to meet some of them," she said. "They are just an awesome group and they get along so well."
Election supervisor Rene Loy said the volunteer election judges who showed up Tuesday, Oct. 31, were bummed they missed a visit by the secretary of state.
Delta County is one of the counties in Colorado where not every voter is getting a ballot. The county is running two elections, one for the Town of Crawford and its 285 voters, and one for the ambulance district, and nearly 14,000 voters. Both measures on the ballot are tax increases.
The county boasts 21,505 total registered voters. Of the active voters, 9,540 are Republican, 6,556 are unaffiliated and 3,557 are Democrats, according to the latest figures from the Colorado Secretary of State's office.
Stephenson thanked Williams for holding training sessions in Rifle, which is close enough that it keeps hotel and mileage costs down.
"Thank you," she said, "for everything you do for our office."
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.