Turnout for the Durango City Council race neared 28% of active registered voters midday Tuesday as the election drew to a close. La Plata County Clerk and Recorder Tiffany Lee said there had been a steady trickle of ballots after an initial slow start.
Roughly 3,800 ballots had been accepted, most of which were quickly processed.
Lee said the bipartisan teams of election judges began to process ballots Monday. The work includes opening envelopes, scanning the ballots into the system and verifying signatures. That process may legally begin up to 15 days before an election.
An eight-day cure period will follow the election to allow for the tabulation of ballots from military and overseas voters as well as any local ballots in need of attention. So far, Lee said 29 cure notices have been sent out, primarily for ballots that either lacked a signature on the envelope or for which the signature could not be verified.
The five-way race for the two open council seats is between Harrison Wendt, Dave Woodruff, Gilda Yazzie, Carter Rogers and Douglass Snow.
Although several of the candidates have publicly urged Durango residents to cast their ballots, turnout remained low. In the past several city elections, turnout has reached upward of 35%, likely driven by ballot measures concerning city taxes. Unlike the ballots in 2019 and 2021, the council race was the only item on which voters had to decide this time around.
However, this year’s turnout surpassed Lee’s modest goal of 25%.
Kathy Streid-Noe dropped off her ballot Monday saying she likes to wait until the last minute “just in case anything happens to my favorite candidates.”
“What’s affecting my vote? My deep concern about the cost of housing and the lack of housing,” she said. “... I really care about people wanting to address whatever solutions we can have locally.”