Tag Archives: Saguache election

Latest News – December 14

Saguache Election Ballots to Be Bi-lingual in 2017

New data released earlier this month from the U.S. Census Bureau will require Saguache County to provide election ballots in Spanish in order to be in compliance with the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

Resident Byron Smith casts his ballot in last April's Election in Saguache. Starting in 2017, ballots for Saguache County will be avaialble in Spanish, as well as English.

Resident Byron Smith casts his ballot in last April’s Election in Saguache. Starting in 2017, ballots for Saguache County will be avaialble in Spanish, as well as English.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the Civil Rights Movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand it.

Saguache was one of three San Luis Valley counties, the list also including Costilla and Conejos counties, which will be operating under that provision until after 2020, when the next census is conducted. Although for Costilla County it is not a change per se, as this area already operates under these VRA requirements.

On December 5, the U.S. Census Bureau released a list of 263 jurisdictions across the nation that must provide language assistance during elections for groups of citizens who are unable to speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process. These determinations are pursuant to specifications, as amended in July 2006, in the Voting Rights Act.

The list, published in the Federal Register, identifies which jurisdictions are covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act and must provide language assistance for Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Asian language groups.

The Saguache County Courthouse, is the home of the Saguache County Clerk and Recorder who runs local elections. Photo: Saguache Today.

The Saguache County Courthouse, is the home of the Saguache County Clerk and Recorder who runs local elections. Photo: Saguache Today.

The Census Bureau has made these determinations following each decennial census since Section 203 was enacted in 1975. In 2006, Congress specified that the Census Bureau use statistics from the American Community Survey following the 2010 Census to conduct these determinations every five years. The determinations released today use data from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

The 263 covered jurisdictions make up 3.3 percent of the 2,919 counties and 4,943 minor civil divisions that comprise the political subdivisions in the United States which were calculated for the Section 203 determinations. There are 68,800,641 eligible voting-age citizens in the covered jurisdictions, or 31.3 percent of the total U.S. citizen voting-age population.

The 2016 determinations found a total national population of 21,739,327 voting-age citizens subject to minority language assistance that reside in the 263 covered jurisdictions, compared with 19,209,431 and 248 jurisdictions in 2011, an increase of 13.2 percent. The determinations found a total of 16,621,136 Hispanics, 4,760,782 Asians, and 357,409 American Indian and Alaska Native voting-age citizens in the covered jurisdictions.

A complete list of which jurisdictions are covered, including which language minority groups are included, can be found in the Federal Register Notice.

In support of this Federal Register Notice, and as done with past publications of the Section 203 language determinations, the Census Bureau is releasing a set of public files presenting the underlying data used to construct these determinations.  This file and information about this file can be downloaded from the Census Redistricting Data program website.

 

 

Latest News – November 9

Yes To Marijuana Tax, No To Jail, Justice Center 

By Kathy Bedell © Saguache Today

Saguache County voters weighed in at the polls yesterday November 8 on a variety of issues. Lining up with the national trend of solid voter turnout, approximately 2,700 ballots were cast countywide.

In local decisions, voters decided to pass Ballot issue 1A which will provide a sales tax on retail marijuana in the county. jointsThe official report filed with the Colorado secretary of State stated 1,427 votes were cast in favor of the measure and 1,224 were against. The excise tax of 5%, known informally as the marijuana tax, will allow Saguache County to collect revenue excised on the sale of marijuana. The application of the new revenue generated from the tax will be up to the discretion of the Saguache County Commissioners It has been discussed that the new revenue stream will be used toward such projects as youth services, Land Use code enforcement and various county infrastructures. The new tax will go into effect on January 1, 2017.

In other election news, voters decided to reject Ballot Issue 1B which would have provided revenue generated from a 1 % sales tax increase to be used in support of the Saguache County Sheriff’s Department including staff training, and the maintenance and construction of a new jail and justice center.

Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick addresses attendees at September's Chocolate Festival regarding Referendum 1B. Voters turned down the measure at the polls on November 8. Photo: Saguache Today/ Lynn Nowiskee.

Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick addresses attendees at September’s Chocolate Festival regarding Referendum 1B. Voters turned down the measure at the polls on November 8. Photo: Saguache Today/ Lynn Nowiskee.

There were 1,170 votes cast in favor but the measure was defeated with 1,486 voters declining their support of the initiative.

It was no surprise that both Democratic candidates for Saguache County Commissioners will retain their perspective seat on the Board of County Commissioners as both races were uncontested. Democrat Jason Anderson garnered 1,827 votes and Ken Anderson secured 1,830 votes at the booths yesterday

For complete Election 2016 results tallied from Saguache County, please visit the Colorado Secretary of State’s official website HERE.