Independent candidates running for La Plata County commissioner seats will hold several events in the coming weeks to gather enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
In the upcoming election, Jack Turner, an independent, is running against Democratic candidate Marsha Porter-Norton in District 2. Charly Minkler, also an independent, is running against Matt Salka, a Democrat, in District 3.
Turner and Minkler must each gather 600 signatures to be placed on the ballot. But that effort has become difficult given the restrictions around the coronavirus outbreak, which deter gatherings and going door to door.
“Normally, we would visit large gatherings and public events to introduce ourselves and collect voter signatures to get on the November ballot,” Minkler said in a statement.
As an alternative, the two candidates will hold drive-thru events where people can sign inside their vehicle. Campaign volunteers will wear protective equipment and offer free pens.
The events will be held:
June 6 in Bayfield at the Lewis True Value Mercantile and in Durango at Durango High School.June 13 in Ignacio at Porky’s Smokehouse and at Durango High School.June 20 at Breen Community Building and at Durango High School.The Bayfield, Ignacio and Breen events will be open from 8 to 10:30 a.m., and the Durango events will be open from noon to 4 p.m.
Because of the outbreak, Turner has petitioned the state to reform the ballot signature process.
“We led a group of 14 independent candidates across the state in an appeal to the governor and secretary of state to permit an online or mail-in process as is allowed for voter registration,” Turner said in a statement. “We got no help whatsoever. It’s ironic considering that mail-in ballots are used for all Colorado elections.”
Signatures will be counted from registered voters only, regardless of party affiliation.