Municipal election to feature all write-in races for mayor, six trustees
Log Lane Village’s Town Hall/Community Building, located at 109 Maine St., is where town voters will be able to drop off ballots for the April 3 municipal election if they choose not to mail them back. (
Jenni Grubbs / Fort Morgan Times)
The April 3 Log Lane Village municipal election could come down to how well voters know how to spell the candidates’ names.
That’s because Log Lane’s election will feature all write-in candidates for mayor and the six trustee seats, and correct spelling of the names written down by the voters is necessary in order for the votes to count, according to Sue Blair, the designated election official.
The municipal election is being organized by contractor Community Resource Services of Colorado (CRS), which was hired Feb. 21 by the Log Lane Board of Trustees to conduct the election. Blair is from CRS.
Who the write-in candidates will be is not yet certain, since the deadline to file an affidavit to run is 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 14.
In order to run for mayor or trustee as a write-in candidate, a person must: be at least 18 years old, be a U.S. citizen, be a resident of Log Lane Village for at least one year prior to the April 3 election and submit a write-in candidate affidavit form to Blair by the March 14 deadline.
After that deadline, Blair would compile the list of valid write-in candidates.
But the write-in candidates’ names will not be included with the ballots being mailed to voters, according to the election official, so the voters will have to learn how to spell the candidates’ names before writing in their choices on the ballot and mailing it back or dropping it off at Log Lane Town Hall.
"Once we get all the write-in candidates in, I’m hoping we can post a list of them somewhere," the election official said, but whether that was allowed was still being determined.
As of Friday afternoon, nine affidavits had been turned in at Log Lane Town Hall by people seeking to run for the six trustee seats and one affidavit for mayor, according to Log Lane Assistant Town Clerk Bobbie Mesmer. She said she had scanned those affidavits and emailed them to Blair for validation.
But it was possible that more were being sent directly to Blair at her office in Greenwood Village, Mesmer said, since that was one of the options give to potential write-in candidates for turning in their affidavits.
Mail is how voters will receive their ballots, and is an option for how they can return them.
"It’s going to be conducted by mail ballot," Blair explained about the Log Lane election. "Ballots will go out the 15th or 16th of March."
Those ballots could be returned by mailing them back ahead of the election or by dropping them off at Town Hall by 7 p.m. April 3.
"All the ballots mailed back will come to my office," Blair said.
For those who drop their ballots off at Town Hall, "We’ll have a judge up there who will bring them back for final count," she said.
When voters get their ballots, they will need to make sure they know the names – and how to spell them – of their choices of write-in candidates before voting. The ballots will have one blank slot for writing in the candidate choice for mayor and six blank slots for writing in choices for trustee.
The election official confirmed that the names voters write in will need to be among the valid write-in candidates and spelled correctly in order to count as votes for those candidates.
"The elector needs to be able to write in the exact name as filed on the write-in affidavit," she said.
But "the judges will have some discretion" in whether a write-in vote for a write-in candidate is valid or not, Blair added.
Her election crew would verify the signatures on all the returned ballots and then count them, checking the names written on them against the list of valid write-in candidates.
Blair expects the preliminary results from the election to be released to town officials yet on election night. It would then be up to the town officials to post those results and whether by that would be done on the board outside of Town Hall or online or both.