Judy Burke wins, 133 – 105
September 24, 2008
After learning that she won the mayoral race, Judy Burke held up her fists with a resolve and said, “We’re going to move forward now!”
Grand Lake voters reinstated the former mayor of Grand Lake for another term in the town’s special “redo” election.
Burke defeated opponent Glenn Harrington, 133 votes to 105. Results were announced around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
“I’m very glad it’s over,” she said, having just arrived to the Lariat Saloon where supporters hugged and cheered.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through because so many people felt what the town was doing was wrong,” she said. “If we can’t manage registrations on the local level, how can we ever do it on the national level?”
She referred to Grand Lake’s reason for the special election. The town challenged two voters’ in-town eligibility after the April 1 municipal election, and since two voters were found in district court to have been ineligible, a two-vote mayoral win by opponent Harrington was negated.
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Karen Robino was one voter who had changed her mind his time around, voting for Burke rather than Harrington. The last election and its subsequent circumstances, she said, made her realize how much her vote had really counted. She voted for Burke from hearing testimony about her long-time experience working for the town.
Although she didn’t reveal for whom she voted, Kate Elliot said the same could be said for her. She voted differently this time upon giving it “more thought” and realizing the influence her vote had from the results of the last election.
“I wish Judy the very best of luck,” said Harrington, former town trustee who was sworn in as mayor in April before finding out his narrow win was in jeopardy. “My hope is that (Grand Lake’s) leadership will be inclusive of all the residents of Grand Lake and that they will take into consideration opinions and ideas from all the residents of our area no matter who they voted for this time or who they’ll vote for in the future.”
According to two of the four election judges, Debbie Bahan and Kelly Shockey, four voters were challenged on Election Day due to questions about their addresses.
Voters obliged, and no problems resulted from the formal challenges, Bahan said.
Besides the four election judges, there was also two poll watchers on duty from the Harrington camp.
Grand Lake Election Official Ronda Kolinske was quoted last week saying 44 voters appeared to have questionable Grand Lake registrations. In total, 10 to 12 walk-ins and mail-in voters were challenged, Kolinske said Tuesday night.
The margin of victory was great enough to not be affected by registration challenges, she said.
In all, 107 mail in voters and 131 walk in voters participated in Grand Lake’s redo election.
“I’m disappointed we had to go through this all over again,” voter Elliot said.
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