Late results

Other counties’ counts ended far more quickly

Who would have predicted that Montezuma County residents would go to bed on Election Night knowing who had won the hard-fought presidential contest but still waiting to hear about local races?

As Journal staffers waited for local results, the Internet displayed results from other Colorado counties ó big counties, small counties, counties approximately the same size as Montezuma. Come at 9, our clerk said. Or 11. Or midnight. Or tomorrow. Or watch the clerkís website ó which was not updated when all the votes were tallied.

Itís the clerkís job to make sure the office has sufficient equipment and staff to handle elections efficiently. This isnít the first time the election process has gone wrong here, but this must be the last, because Montezuma County citizens are not well served.

Accuracy is more important than speed, but the 2012 ballot was not particularly long and complicated, the turnout ó while laudable ó was not overwhelming, and not a single result was close at all.

Elections arenít recreational exercises. The results matter. They can change the course of peopleís lives, and even when they donít, they reflect, legally, the wishes of people who cared enough to vote. Thatís no small thing.

Elections also donít sneak up on the people running them. Thereís plenty of time to plan for various possibilities, including the one that a lot of ballots would be cast or delivered on Tuesday. After all, it hasnít been too many years since they all were.

We hope that the new commission will work to ensure that the clerkís office has the resources necessary to perform on Election Day. And we hope that next Election Day, voters will make clear their preference for a county clerk who is up to this important responsibility.