Final Grand County vote totals cause little change in results |

Final Grand County vote totals cause little change in results

The ballot box outside Granby Town Hall awaits more voters the afternoon of Nov. 8.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

Grand County released its final unofficial vote count Thursday, Nov. 17, with a batch of 94 ballots that did not change the outcomes of any races. Clerk and Recorder Sara Rosene wrote in an email that 22 ballots came from other counties’ drop boxes, 10 came from the General Mail Facility in Denver, 33 of 124 rejected ballots were cured and 29 ballots from the “cure batch” that were held back to protect voter privacy.

The Granby Board of Trustees race and Grand Lake marijuana ballot questions were previously too close to officially call, but the final results confirm that the issues and candidates leading after the last Nov. 9 update have held their leads.

Grand County commissioner, District 3

Republican Commissioner Randy George defended his seat against Democrat Steve Skinner after replacing former commissioner Kris Manguso when she resigned in July. George finished with 4,176 votes, good for 53.5% of the total, picking up 48 votes in the final group of 94 additional counted votes.

Skinner picked up 42 votes out of the final 94 to finish with 46.46% of the votes, losing to George by 552 votes.

Grand County clerk and recorder

Republican Jolene Linke closed out her race against Democrat Abby Loberg, who still had a mathematical chance of overtaking Linke after the last votes were counted. Linke’s lead grew from 96 to 99 votes as she added 45 of the final 94 votes and Loberg added 42.

The percentages reflect Linke’s close margin of victory, as she won by 1.24% — 50.62% to 49.38%.

Fraser River Valley Housing Partnership Issue 6A

The Nov. 9 vote totals showed that the Fraser River Valley Housing Partnership’s ballot issue would pass, but its margin of victory grew by 17 votes after Thursday’s update. With a final total of 2,187 yes votes — 56.76% of the total — Issue 6A passed to establish a 2.00 mill property tax to generate $1.2 million annually for the partnership.

Grand Lake Marijuana Ballot Questions

The three marijuana questions on Grand Lake’s ballot asked voters if the town should establish a tax on recreational marijuana sales (2A), establish a tax on medical marijuana sales (2B) and legalize the operation of marijuana businesses in the town (2C). 

After Nov. 9, the races for 2B and 2C were separated by 9 votes and 1 vote, respectively, with no leading for 2B and yes leading for 2C. The vote totals changed, but the results stayed the same, as 2A and 2C passed while 2B failed.

With the final votes added, the question to tax recreational marijuana passed by 18 votes, the question to allow marijuana businesses passed by 6 votes and the question to tax medical marijuana failed by 9 votes. Of the 586 ballots cast in Grand Lake, 15 people did not vote on issues 2A or 2B while 10 did not vote on 2C.

Granby board of trustees

While the Nov. 9 vote totals guaranteed wins for the top two candidates, Sharon Silva and Mike Mahoney, Seth Stern and Stafan Harberer were in striking distance of overtaking third and fourth place from Deborah Shaw and Jeff Sneddon. Neither made much ground, though, receiving three and one additional vote, respectively.

Thursday’s vote totals secured victories for Silva, Mahoney, Shaw and Sneddon. Their final totals were 370, 362, 347 and 332, respectively. Stern lost to Sneddon by 30 votes.

Voter turnout

Rosene wrote in an email that the county ended up counting 8,093 votes in this year’s midterm election — 185 more than in the 2018 midterm election, when 7,908 votes were cast. Rosene wrote that the county had 10,708 active registered voters in 2018, resulting in a 73.85% turnout rate. She estimated there were 11,250 active registered voters before this year’s election which would result in a 71.94% turnout rate, slightly lower than last year.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s website lists different figures and changed how it calculated voter turnout since the 2018 midterms. In 2018, it used ballots cast and registered voters, giving a Grand County turnout of 67.13% — 8,046 ballots were cast out of 12,013 registered voters. In 2022, it used ballots cast and active voters, giving Grand a 2022 turnout of 69.74% — 8,093 ballots were cast out of 11,604 active voters.

According to Secretary of State office data from Nov. 13, 7,864 Grand County voters voted by mail or drop box while 316 voted in person. Unaffiliated voters accounted for the largest portion of votes with 3,332 votes or 40.73% of all votes. Republicans came next with 2,922 votes and 35.72% of the total, with Democrats following with 1,792 votes and 21.91% of the total. Third party voters cast 134 votes and accounted for 1.64% of the total.

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