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Candidate forums scheduled for October in Montezuma County

The race for Montezuma County Sheriff includes Republican incumbent Steve Nowlin and unaffiliated challenger Odis Sikes. A candidate forum is scheduled for Oct. 6 at the Empire Electric Calvin Denton Room, 801 N. Broadway. (Journal file photo)
Candidates for Montezuma County sheriff and U.S. Congress District 3 featured; civil discourse forum planned in Cortez

Candidate forums and a civil discourse forum are scheduled for October in preparation for the Nov. 8 election.

The Montezuma League of Women Voters will present two forums.

An in-person forum for Montezuma County Sheriff candidates will be Oct. 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Empire Electric Calvin Denton Room, 801 N. Broadway, Cortez.

The candidates are Republican incumbent Steve Nowlin and unaffiliated challenger Odis Sikes. Both candidates have been invited to participate.

Candidates will be given three minutes for an opening statement. They will answer a series of questions with a one-minute time limit for each one, then give a three-minute closing statement. Candidates are provided questions in advance so they have time to prepare.

Topics include the Sheriff’s Office budget, training, addressing issues of mental health and substance abuse in the community, crime, deputy recruitment and retention and other law enforcement issues.

Time permitting, there will be an opportunity for questions to be submitted from the audience. The forum is intended to present the public with information about candidates and is not a debate format, Sheek said.

Under League of Women voter rules, an invited candidate who does not attend can send a letter about them to be read at the forum, or have a person attend to read the letter. The person representing the candidate is not allowed to answer the forum questions.

Ballot presentation and civil discourse

On Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. at the Dolores Public Library, the League will host a November ballot Issues presentation by the Bell Policy Center via Zoom.

Also on Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. The Cortez Cultural Center and the Cortez Rotary will host a community forum on civil discourse at the Cultural Center outdoor plaza, 25 N. Market St.

A panel and moderator will lead the group discussion. Panel members include Peter Ortego, Dave Hart, Laurie Austen, Valerie Maez, Mike Lynch and Bill Teetzel.

Free bratwurst and hot dogs will be served, and there will be refreshments, including beer for purchase.

“We all have things we want to say. We all have things we need to hear. Civil discourse helps with both,” states the event flyer.

Race for U.S. Congressional District 3
Lauren Boebert and Adam Frisch

On Oct. 12 from 6-7 p.m. there will be a virtual forum for candidates running for U.S. Congressional District 3. The candidates are Republican incumbent Lauren Boebert and Democrat challenger Adam Frisch.

To attend join via Facebook at www.facebook.com/lwvcolorado or via Zoom at https://bit.ly/CoD3Zoom Closed captioning is available.

The recording of the meeting will be available Oct. 13 at https://bit.ly/LWVrecording.

The candidates will give opening statements and answer questions solicited from the district by a League of Women Voters subcommittee. The questions involve topics such as the economy, water, health care, affordable housing, energy and the environment. No questions will be taken from the audience.

The forum is sponsored by League of Women Voter chapters from Montezuma County, La Plata County, Gunnison Valley, Mesa County, Pueblo, San Luis Valley and Uncompahgre Valley.

The nonpartisan League of Women Voters provides information and forums about candidates and ballot issues for local, state and national elections.

“We hope everyone attends. It is important for candidates and the public to take advantage of candidate forums,” Sheek said. “We provide a platform for candidates to share information. When people run for public office, they are applying for a job, and the voters are the employers.”

In other election news:

Ballots will be mailed out Oct. 17-21 to all active registered voters.

There are eleven ballot measures on the November ballot. There are a number of nonpartisan sources of information to help voters understand the ballot issues and the pros and cons of each.

The “blue book,” published by the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly, is mailed to all registered voters.

LWV’s “Ballot Issues” pamphlet will be available the first of October at all three public libraries, Montezuma County Clerk Office, Cortez City Hall, Cortez Rec Center, Cortez Cultural Center, Republican Headquarters, Democratic Party Headquarters, as well as many other business locations around the county.

For information on additional candidate forums or ballot issues forums, please visit the League of Women Voters of Colorado website lwvcolorado.org for dates and times or the League’s award winning website, Vote411.org.

Vote411 provides information on all candidates, local, state, and national, throughout the country, as well as all ballot issues. Every candidate is invited to participate, responding to League questions and providing links to their website and Facebook pages.

You can register to vote or update you voter registration online at GoVoteColorado.gov or by visiting the Montezuma County Clerk’s office at 140 W. Main Street, Cortez.

You can even register and vote at the County Clerk’s office the day of the election. All ballots must be mailed in time to reach the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. Election Day. Or ballots can be dropped off at drop boxes throughout the county.

Oct. 31 is the last day for an individual to submit a voter registration application and still receive a ballot in the mail for the Nov. 8 General Election. Voters can pick up a ballot at a Voter Service and Polling Centers through Election Day.

The VSPC locations are:

  • Montezuma County Clerk & Recorder, 140 W. Main St., Suite No. 1, Cortez, 970-565-3728 ext. 4. Open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.; Nov. 5, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Nov. 8, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Mancos Library, 211 W. First St. Mancos. Open Nov. 8, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Dolores Library, 1002 Railroad Ave., Dolores. Open Nov. 8, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Ute Mountain Ute Recreation Center, 495 Sunset Blvd., Towaoc. Open Nov. 7, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Nov. 8, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Secure Drop Boxes

A 24-hour drop box will be available for ballots Oct. 24 to Nov. 8 at the following addresses:

  • Montezuma County Clerk & Recorder, 140 W. Main St., Suite No. 1, Cortez.
  • Cortez City Hall, 123 E. Roger Smith Ave., Cortez.
  • Mancos Town Hall, 117 N. Main St., Mancos.
  • Dolores Town Hall, 420 Central Ave., Dolores.
  • Ute Mountain Tribal Complex Building, 124 Mike Wash Road, Towaoc.
  • Cox’s Corner Store, 18794 U.S. Highway 491, Lewis.

Ballots are due no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8. Postmarks do not count.

The Montezuma County League of Women Voters released the following statement:

“Voting is a hallmark of our democracy and a right that we Americans cherish. It is also an important responsibility, so take some time this election season to inform yourself about the ballot issues and about the candidates who are vying to represent you, then be sure to vote.

Colorado has a stellar election system that is very easy to use, with numerous processes in place to insure the security of the vote. Colorado voters can be confident that their ballots were accurately tabulated and the outcome of the election reflects the wishes of Colorado voters.”