By Lucas Vader
A week later, the November 2020 election cycle is completely wrapped up for Delta County. While the results are still technically unofficial as of Tuesday morning, the counting is over and the numbers are no longer liable to fluctuation. The results are in.
In the wake of the successful election cycle, Delta County Public Information Officer Darnell Place-Wise sent out a press release of gratitude toward all the county election workers.
“Teri Stephenson and Rene Loy Maas of the Delta County Clerk and Recorder’s office can’t say enough about the amazing staff and volunteers that helped Delta County in its last of six elections for 2020; to say that the 2020 general election process in Delta County was a success, is an understatement,” the press release stated.
The press release notably thanked all the workers by name, and they are as follows:
With Delta VSPC: Virginia Selby, John St. George, Jeannie Webb, Tina Daniel and Debora Fisk.
With the North Fork Annex: Naomi Smith, Roxy Grinnell, Susan Coombe and Wesley Long.
With Orchard City Town Hall: Amanda Porter, Randy and Sheri Fisher, Sandra Vandenberg, Joe Mock and Roxanne Sumners.
Signature judges and counting judges: Linda Grunkemeyer, Elaine Brett, Wendy Crocket, Barbara Silverman, Laura Earley, Susie Johnson, Robert Fisk, Debi Cole, Leona Lange and Crystal Sanchez Medrano.
Crawford judges: Pam Hassenger, Patrick McLaughlin, Amanda Campbell and Lacie Allen.
Logic and accuracy tester and risk limit audit judges: Sue Whittlesey and Debora Fisk.
Transfer judges: E. Anne Every and Curt Grinnell.
“We are incredibly thankful to everyone who contributed to the success of the 2020 general election,” said Rene Loy Maas, chief deputy. “Our election judges were outstanding, and we truly appreciated the help from county staff, the sheriff’s office, and courthouse security.”
“What I love about the past month and throughout this election process, is seeing friends and neighbors come together, and individuals from every side of the aisle, to ensure that every ballot that was cast in Delta County, was verified and counted,” said Delta County Clerk Teri Stephenson. “The hard work and dedication of the judges and volunteers ensures that Delta County registered voters feel confident that their voice has been heard.”
During this particular election, Maas said the challenges that stemmed both directly and indirectly from COVID-19 were overcome by everyone involved. Not only that, but the numbers were surprising.
“There was a lot of misinformation out there that made the mail ballot seem not as trusted,” Maas said, referring to the national controversy of the mail-in system. However, she reported that 82% of the votes in Delta County were ultimately cast by mail-in. President Donald Trump’s insistence that the mail-in system is not to be trusted could be argued with the fact that Trump actually significantly beat Joe Biden in Delta County, with over 67% of the votes.
In the end, 6% of Delta County’s active registered voters cast their votes in person. In total, 88% of Delta County’s 22,156 active registered voters voted in this election.
Though the national number of votes set a new high score, Delta County’s number remained about the same.
“Another thing that we noticed, too, was that the drop boxes were wildly popular,” Maas said.
Normally, Delta County sees about 70% of the mail-in ballots come in via the 24-hour drop boxes around the county. This time, it was closer to 90%.
Maas vouched for the mail-in system, particularly for Colorado, stating that “We have this mail ballot down.”
First results were released just minutes after 7 p.m. on Election Day. As they’d come out so soon after the voting deadline, a handful of residents within Delta County, among the claimed misinformation, were suspicious about how the results would have been able to come out so fast.
In actuality, according to Maas, by Colorado state law, they get to start counting the mail-in ballots 15 days before Election Day. As 82% of the votes were cast by mail-in ballots (many of them being sent long before Election Day) most of the ballot issues were able to be called almost immediately.
The same goes for the rest of Colorado.
“Even before [COVID-19], 80% of Delta County was permanent mail-in voter status,” Maas said.
Therefore, despite the alleged misinformation, Maas said she deems the election a complete success.
“That’s an important thing we want to get out there, that this election was conducted by neighbors, friends, family members,” Maas said. “They had bipartisanship throughout the whole way, verification, voting in-person, to signature verification, to opening the ballots, to picking up the ballots and transporting them down to the courthouse — everything was done by bipartisan teams of two.”