Fraser Rec District recall election sparks big voter turnout
February 17, 2009
At 6:59 a.m., a minute before the polls opened for the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District recall election, people were at the door of the East Grand Fire Station, waiting for their chance to vote.
East Grand Fire Chief Todd Holzwarth, designated election official, opened the door at 7 a.m. Until polls closed at 7 p.m., a steady stream of voters decided the future of three Fraser Rec board members ” Dan O’Connell, Beth Sands and Pete Strohecker ” who are up for recall.
Six Fraser Valley residents put their names on the ballot to replace the three board members. Kevin Davlin and Kyle Harris ran to replace Dan O’Connell. Darrell Jackie Woods and Andrew Chasin ran to replace Beth Sands. Jon deVos and John Glancey ran for Pete Strohecker’s seat.
The Fraser Recreation District has 4,200 registered voters. On Saturday, election judges counted 1,200 mail-in ballots. Viki Bale attended the counting as a poll watcher.
According to state law, candidates can select a representative to watch the polls on Election Day, as long as that person registers by the Friday before the election.
Bale was the sole poll watcher again on Tuesday.
Boxes of ballots were transported to the Grand County Judicial Building in Hot Sulphur Springs throughout the day.
The results released on Tuesday night are an unofficial tally.
The official results will not be certified for at least a week after the election, said Grand County Clerk Sara Rosene.
According to state law, when mail in ballots are used, voters who did not sign the return envelope must be contacted to give them a chance to sign. Or, Rosene said, if the signatures don’t match voter registrations, voters must be contacted. Voters with no signature, or questionable signatures, have a week from Wednesday, the day after the election, to sign a certified letter.
“We sent out notifications to voters (who need to sign or re-sign their ballot envelopes) as soon as we got their ballots,” Rosene said. “Tomorrow is the last day we can legally send out notifications.”
Electronic voting machines
The Fraser Rec recall election was conducted by mail-in ballot, and through eight electronic voting machines on Election Day at the East Grand Fire Station.
The voting machines were tested on Jan. 28 at the Grand County Clerk and Recorders office. The testing was open to the public.
Seventy-five sample ballots were printed and distributed to three people ” Holzwarth, Michelle Lawrence and Nancy Anderson.
“We marked the ballots some ” some normal and some with the typical mistakes,” Holzwarth said. “We used colored pens or we made Xs instead of blacking in the square. The count came out fine.
“Then we entered those ballots into the polling booth machines and watched the results and made sure they matched. It worked fine.”
The machines were zeroed, sealed and remained untouched until Election Day, Holzwarth said.