Tag Archives: Saguache election

Voting Matters in Saguache Today

Are you SURE you’re registered to vote? Last year, millions of Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register. Colorado offers so many options to cast your ballot that there’s truly no excuse for not letting your voice be heard at the polls. In addition, in a small community like Leadville, the power of one vote has determined more than one local election over the years. Make sure that your voice is heard in Leadville and Lake County elections.

Local Elections Matter!

Today – Tuesday, Sept. 24 –  is National Voter Registration Day, an event celebrated across the United States to remind Americans to register to vote.  Each year, National Voter Registration Day falls on the 4th Tuesday in September. In honor of the occasion, Saguache Today (ST) is sharing a message from Colorado Secretary of State Jenna Griswold whose office oversees elections and voter registration for the state. ST found her office to be helpful and responsive with a wide range of online options for voter registration, making the entire process simple and streamlined.

“I grew up working class in rural Colorado and know firsthand how important it is for every Coloradan’s voice to be heard,” stated Secretary Griswold who grew up in Estes Park, a rural Colorado community with many similarities to Saguache and Saguache County. “I encourage all eligible Coloradans to visit govotecolorado.com today to verify their registration or register to vote for the very first time.”

One of the most encouraging pieces of information Griswold shared with ST was that Colorado has the highest voter registration in the country with over 90% of eligible voters registered to vote. In fact, in 2018 Colorado had the second-highest turnout with 64% of eligible voters voting in the midterm election.

The Saguache County Clerk and Recorder’s Office is located in the Saguache County Courthouse and staffed with friendly, helpful folks to help register you to vote and answer any election questions. Photo: Saguache Today

Colorado offers online voter registration. You can register to vote by mail in Colorado by printing a voter registration form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office. You can also register to vote in person if you prefer. The following outlines the deadlines and qualification for voting in the November 5, #2019ElectionDay.

Who Can Vote in Saguache Today?

  • Age: Must be 16 years of age, but you must be 18 years of age or older on the date of the election at which you intend to vote
  • Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen
  • Residency: Must have resided in Colorado 22 days immediately before the election at which you intend to vote.
  • Felony Convictions: Are not serving a sentence of confinement, detention, or parole for a felony conviction. For more information see the Voting and Conviction FAQ.
  • ID Requirements for Voter Registration: You must have a Colorado State driver’s license or ID card issued by the Department of Revenue you may register to vote online. If you do not have one of these, you may use the last four digits of your Social Security Number on a paper ballot.

Voter Registration

  • Online: Colorado Online Voter Registration
  • In person: You can also register in person at:
    • A Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle office when you apply for a driver’s license, or update your driver’s license information.
    • Offices that provide public assistance, including offices that provide state-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities.
    • Recruitment offices of the armed forces of the United States.
    • Any federal, state, local government, or nongovernment office that chooses to provide voter registration service or applications.
    • A voter service and polling center.
    • Registering through a voter registration drive
  • By mail/ in writing: Printable voter registration forms are available on the Secretary of State’s website, county clerk and recorder offices, and any federal post office that provides voter registration applications. You may mail, deliver, or scan and email your completed and signed form to your county clerk and recorder’s office. Mailed forms also accepted at Colorado Department of State, Elections Division, 1700 Broadway, Suite 200, Denver, CO 80290.
The Saguache County Courthouse. Photo: Saguache Today

Colorado Registration Deadlines

Registration Deadline: Colorado law allows you to register to vote through Election Day, but please note that how you register to vote matters.

  • If you register to vote by mail or online at least 8 days before an election conducted by your county clerk and recorder, the clerk will automatically mail you a ballot.
  • If you register after the 8th day before an election conducted by your county clerk and recorder, you must visit one of the Voter Service and Polling Centers in your county to get a ballot.
  • If you register to vote through a voter registration drive, your application must be submitted no later than 22 days before an election.
  • You may register to vote by appearing in-person at a voter service and polling center through Election Day.
  • Contact your Local Election Office if you have any questions. Saguache County Clerk and Recorder Trish Gilbert and her staff are very helpful and competent in making sure that your voice is heard at the polls.

Latest News – February 8

Two Votes Determine Saguache’s Dunn Purchase

By Kathy Bedell © Saguache Today

There’s no doubt that the concept of every vote counts is alive and well in Saguache Today, as it only took two votes to deny the Town of Saguache’s  purchase of the historic Dunn Block Building in today’s special town election. The “nays” won at the polls with 72 votes cast against the measure, to 70 votes in favor of the purchase of the Dunn Building.spacer

Pictured (left to right): Carla Quintana, Kathy Geddes and Kate Vasha do their part for democracy with their service as Election Judges in The Town of Saguache special election regarding the purchase of the historic Dunn Building. By a two vote difference, voters denied the purchase. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

Pictured (left to right): Carla Quintana, Kathy Geddes and Kate Vasha do their part for democracy with their service as Election Judges in The Town of Saguache special election regarding the purchase of the historic Dunn Building. By a two vote difference, voters denied the purchase. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

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The response to the vote weighed in on social media quickly, with one reader posting on the Saguache Today Facebook Page:

Very disappointed here. I wonder what motivated people to vote against the betterment of our little town and what they think ought to happen to the building…just let it continue to deteriorate? To become a pubic nuisance? A hazard? Home for squatters? Or are folks simply inclined to say no because…you know…. The gument is out to get ‘em…take their money.

While other residents saw the Town’s plate as full with keeping up with basic services, in addition to the sizeable water and sewer project scheduled to begin in the Spring, and the ongoing Vista Grande situation. Another reader posted:

I am against buying. There are other things that need to be done in this town. Why can’t we have our streets fixed right? Or is that too hard?spacer

Saguache Works continues to thrive as a private/ public partnership on 4th Street in downtown saguache. Photo: Saguache Today.

Saguache Works continues to thrive as a private/ public partnership on 4th Street in downtown saguache. Photo: Saguache Today.

spacerAnd while a “no” ballot didn’t necessarily signal an anti-growth/improvement sentiment, emotions generally run strong directly after such a close vote.  Saguache Today offers other options that are still on the table for the Dunn Building Block. In an interview with Saguache Mayor Greg Terrell before the election results were tallied, he explained how the conversation even started with the purchase.

The historic Dunn Block Building in downtown Saguache.

The historic Dunn Building in downtown Saguache.

The Masons had been contacted by a number of private interests, according to Mayor Terrell. However, the organization expressed they were concerned about whether or not those parties had the funds to actually restore the building and since none of the perspective buyers seemed to have a solid plan in place when pressed for more details about how they were going to “fix it up,” the Masons approached the town.

“The Masons saw the Town as being able to take this on and run it to completion,” explained Terrell. It seems, the group figured that the Town of Saguache had the most opportunity for grants and funding through state historical entities and family foundations/trusts. However residents wanted a place at the discussion table and forced the hand of the Board of Trustees last fall by having the decision be put to a vote of the people.

That answer was no, but only by a couple of votes. And while the public may not be interested in becoming the new owner of the historic Dunn Building, clearly there has been interest expressed in the private sector. With the recent sale of The Saguache Hotel (story coming) and the continuing success of Saguache Works, which is quicklyelection_ballot_saguache-today emerging as a leader in how public/private partnerships work best,  it’s safe to say there is still good will and positive momentum working its way down 4th Street in Saguache Today.

In other Town news, Mayor Greg Terrell told Saguache Today election evening at the polling place that he has NOT able to confirm that the contract presented to Lawyer Karen Lintott for the position of Saguache Town Attorney had been accepted, signed and returned. A requests for proposal (RFP) for a new attorney was issued by town officials earlier this year. That decision, explained Saguache Mayor Greg Terrell, was prompted per the recommendation of the town auditor, who explained it’s a healthy part of checks-and-balances for municipalities to issue RFPs for a number of town positions including legal counsel.

So stay tuned as to what will happen with legal counsel, as the six Saguache Town Board of Trustees (Loren Aldrich, Susan Collins, May Engquist, Wyoma Hansen, Janice Torrez, and Amber Wilson) move forward, along with Mayor Terrell into this next chapter of Saguache history.