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About 27 percent of Mancos voters mail in ballots

Early turnout is about 27 percent
Montezuma County Clerk Kim Percell presents unofficial election results in 2016. The voting deadline for this year’s election is Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.

Many voters in the Mancos school district have gotten an early start on voting ahead of Tuesday’s mail-in election.

Montezuma County Clerk Kim Percell said 648 Mancos voters had mailed in ballots by Wednesday evening. She expects many more people to deliver ballots before the deadline on Tuesday. As of Tuesday, 27 percent of Mancos’ 2,424 active, registered voters had mailed in ballots.

Mancos is one of two Montezuma County school districts with tax-related questions on the ballot this year.

Bond Measure 3A would increase the school district’s debt by $4.95 million, to be paid off with increased property taxes over the next 20 years, in order to pay for a major school renovation set to start in the spring. If the measure passes, the majority of the project’s costs will be paid with a $19.79 million Building Excellent Schools Today grant.

Overall, Percell said the turnout for this year’s mail-in voting has been good for a year with no state or federal candidates up for election. According to data released by the Colorado Secretary of State on Tuesday, a total of 3,078 people had voted in Montezuma County by Monday, or about 16 percent of the three school districts’ 19,497 registered voters. The majority were from Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1, but Mancos came in at a distant second.

“I think we will have a pretty good turnout, because of the questions,” Percell said.

Percell said 1,046 mail-in ballots in all three school districts were undeliverable because the voters had moved since the last election and hadn’t informed the county of their new address.

A Mancos bond committee has been working since July to promote Measure 3A among district residents. The committee’s latest public outreach event was on Oct. 23, when about 30 parents and interested citizens gathered at Mancos Public Library for a question and answer session. Most of the questions dealt with safety issues the district hopes to address through the renovation project, and how much property taxes would increase as a result of the bond. The meeting ended with a round of applause from the attendees. Committee member Anne Benson and district superintendent Brian Hanson said community feedback about the measure has been mostly positive.

If passed, the bond will add $5.11 to residents’ monthly property taxes, for each house valued at $100,000, and $51.42 for each commercial property valued at $250,000, according to materials distributed by the bond committee. Agricultural property owners will pay between 70 cents and $25.57 per quarter section per month, depending on the use of their land.

Two Mancos school board members, Blake Mitchell and Boe Hawkins, are also up for re-election this year. They are running unopposed.

The Montezuma-Cortez school district is voting on a mill levy increase this year, and in Dolores, seven candidates are competing for two open seats on the school board.

Percell said the county office received about 600 mail-in ballots on Monday alone. She expects a similar rush on Tuesday for drop-off ballots. The last ballots were mailed to voters on Monday, and Percell said she recommended voters mail ballots before that deadline in order to make sure they arrive on time. Voters can also drop off their ballots in person at the clerk and recorder’s office on 140 W. Main St.

The deadline to turn in a ballot in the election is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.

This article was reposted on Nov. 1 to correct information about the mail-in ballot deadline and to update the number of early votes.

Find out more

For more information on voting in this year’s election, contact Kim Percell at 970-565-3728 or kpercell@co.montezuma.co.us, or visit the Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder’s Office at 140 W. Main St., Suite 1, Cortez.

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