All eligible Grand Lake voters should cast ballots in mayoral election
September 3, 2008
To the Editor:
Your vote DOES matter. It is extremely important for all ELIGIBLE voters to come to the polls on Sept. 23 to elect Grand Lake’s next mayor.
Much has been said about the voters feeling disenfranchised, even intimidated, and that their vote doesn’t matter. Nothing could be further from the truth.
After the election in April, Grand Lake’s election official, Ronda Kolinske, discovered that people voted who were not entitled to vote due to the fact that they did not reside within the town limits. Because these voters admitted in court that they DID NOT reside within the town limits, the election was overturned.
The voters in Grand Lake’s municipal election must claim Grand Lake as their primary residence and must RESIDE within the town limits. This is by Colorado law, not just an arbitrary decision by town officials. There are many people who own property within the town limits, but that DOES NOT entitle them to vote for the town’s leadership; they must also live here, too.
Voters often get confused because they DO get to vote for special districts, such as the Fire District, 3 Lakes, and the Recreation District. They are entitled to vote in those special district elections by virtue of owning property within the district, but they are not required to reside within the special district’s boundaries.
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This process of identifying eligible voters is no different than the requirements for voting at the recent Democratic National Convention held in Denver. Each delegate was highly scrutinized and was given their credentials ONLY when it was certain they were entitled to vote. I doubt that these delegates felt disenfranchised or intimidated when asked for their credentials. The same standards should also hold true for Grand Lake voters.
It is vitally important not just to our country, but to our town that we encourage EVERY ELIGIBLE person to register to vote and to participate fully in all elections. Each person has the responsibility to help protect the integrity of the electoral process by guarding against voter registration fraud.
You must not lie about your qualifications. You must be certain no false information is given on the registration form. You must not register in two or more counties or states. You must not accept payment for registering to vote, or offer to pay another person to register to vote.
The two candidates for Grand Lake mayor will be giving an open forum on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Grand Lake Fire Station. Please make time in your schedule to attend this very important forum. Come hear what the candidates have to say about the future of Grand Lake. Your vote and your voice matter. It’s up to you, the registered voters of Grand Lake, to determine who our next mayor will be.