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Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell issues the final election reports late Thursday afternoon, certifying the results of the Nov. 6 general election. A total of 11,642 ballot were cast in Chaffee County. While this represented a 74.6 percent turnout of the county’s 15,600 registered voters, it was a whopping 85.9 percent of the total active registered voters; meaning those who typically vote in a presidential election.

While the election abstract reveals no changes in who won or lost local, county and state seats, it did adjust final ballot counts upward. This was to be expected as absentee ballots and those 25 ballots held back to count for purposes of anonymity with absentees ballots, were finally counted.

“Our work is not done on election night,” said Mitchell. “It is always close to the end of the month before we have certification. I appreciate everyone’s patience as we worked hard to complete all of our post-election processes.

She explained that what some might see as a delay in final results is done to assure that the election process is accurate. “All counties have to complete certain processes before we can certify because the Risk Limiting Audit involves state wide contests.”

While Democrats are still outnumbered by Republicans across Chaffee County, the greatest number of active voters* in Chaffee County are now unaffiliated voters:

Party Voted Active voters Percentage
Democrats 3195 3570 87.5
Republicans 3837 4478 83.4
Unaffiliated voters 401 5308 72.9
*Source: Chaffee County Clerk & Recorder. Totals shown for major party and unaffiliated voters only.

Mitchell made a point of thanking those dedicated to assuring our county election process was fair, accurate and complete. “I want to also thank my staff and election judges, Risk Limiting Audit Board, and Canvass Board for their time, working over the weekends to finish the canvass and certification.

Chaffee County voters appeared to take substantial use of the mail in ballot feature, rather than voting in person or dropping ballots. Voter centers had the following traffic:

  Total voter visits Paper BMD Mail ballots issued
Buena Vista   152 78 29 45
Salida 882 205   78 670
Poncha Springs  18 16 0 2

Ballot Initiative 1A – Strengthening forest health, conserving and supporting working ranches and farms and rural landscapes and managing the impacts of growth garnered 10,730 total votes, passing with a slim margin of 212 votes. Support for the measure was not equal across all precincts, breaking out as follows:

Precinct Yes No
1 570 565
2 622 734
3 707 770
4 399 446
5 686 611
6 741 694
7 673 470
8 683 423
9 540 696
Total: 5621 5409