Secretary of State Bernie Buescher visited Montrose County this morning to discuss challenges the county faces regarding elections, online voter registration capabilities, as well as the future of elections in Colorado. Buescher (from Grand Junction) said he is looking to continue to save all counties in the state money, and one major way that is being done is by canceling elections for uncontested races. (These elections were costing the state roughly $24 million each time). The question this year is “Where are we going with campaign administration?”
Buescher went on to say that Montrose County is well ahead of other counties when it comes to the election department.
Buescher says his office is currently operating at about 15% under budget. They’ve authorized 132 FTE’s, and operating at 112-115 FTE’s, he says he can’t cut anymore in order to run the elections departments properly.
He also said that starting April 1, people can log onto govotecolorado.com to register to vote. (You can register to vote at 17). This will save money at the county level (will eliminate the hand-processing of all the paperwork). Buescher went into the cost of running an election, saying the state pays small counties $.70/voter and $.80 for larger counties per voter. Some states/counties can’t afford to run elections (some are at $4/voter up to $35/voter in small counties on the Eastern Plains. Montrose County was $4.50/voter in 2008). Buescher says this is why his focus is saving money and running his office more efficiently.
On a semi-unrelated issue, Buescher talked about the state having $1,507,000 in over-payments from 1996-2004. But there is a state statute that says if the money is more than a year old, it can’t be sent back to the people. Senate Bill 143 would allow this office to pay this money back. He wants people to log on to his website, for the complete 35,000 names, and spend a few minutes to double check their address. When/if this bill passes, the checks would be sent out immediately.
Buescher left Montrose to visit with the Delta County Elections Department. He said he tries to spend two days a week hitting counties across the state. To learn more about Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, visit http://www.sos.state.co.us/.
(Photo by Janine Mayfield)
Montrose County Republicans report 563 official ballots available and a number of unaffiliated voters present during last night’s caucus giving them a turn-out around 600 total. The State results are as follows:
U. S. Senate
Steve Barton – 306 votes
Ken Buck – 9324 votes
Robert Greenheck – 38 votes
Vincent Martinez – 81 votes
Jane Norton – 9295 votes
Cleve Tidwell – 1470 votes
Tom Wiens – 4054 votes
Other – 60 votes
Total Votes Cast – 24628
Dan Maes – 9952 votes
YJ Mager – 117votes
Scott McInnis – 15213 votes
Other – 59 votes
Total Votes Cast – 25341
Get more information at www.montrosegop.org.
Source: Press Release (Posted 12:14p)
110 registered Democrats turned out to vote in the Montrose County Democratic Party caucus Tuesday night. 75.45% of the vote for the U.S. Senator nomination went to Andrew Romanoff, former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives. Incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet received 20.91%. The remaining 3.64 % of the voters were undecided. There were no other contested seats. Caucus voters also chose delegates to the Montrose County Democratic Party’s county convention, which will happen on April 10 at the Lions Park Clubhouse, in Montrose.
Source: Press Release (Posted 9:36a)