Volunteer Caleb Waller delivers animal crackers to election judges, each box including a note stating, “Without you this would be a zoo.” Photo by James Steindler

Ballots are in and still being counted around the country. As of 9 a.m. on Nov. 10, some races are too close to call. Although, there are a few which have rounded the bend. The Sopris Sun reached out to each of the local candidates but had limited responses due to the tight turnaround.

In-person voting in the Valley was bustling. This reporter dropped off his ballot at the Glenwood Springs Community Center around 5 p.m. Poll workers were working diligently and patiently, generally donning smiles and chiming, “Thanks for voting.” Most voters kept to themselves while some others chatted and a few, as has been a national trend, openly ridiculed the legitimacy of the voting process — one person claiming their significant other signed their ballot in 2020 and that election officials were none the wiser.

Meanwhile, in Carbondale, as reported on KDNK radio, Town Hall was overwhelmed with voter turnout on election day.

Unofficial results (as of 9 a.m. on Nov. 10)
According to the unofficial results posted on the Colorado secretary of state website — a useful tool for tracking real-time election coverage — incumbent Lieutenant Governor Jared Polis beat Republican challenger Heidi Ganahl by a wide margin of over 17%. Ganahl conceded election night, congratulating Polis on his win.

Democrat Elizabeth Velasco is likely the new representative for Colorado House District 57, prevailing over incumbent Perry Will. In a statement from Velasco she shared, in part, “As a new American, I hope my election proves that Western Colorado is a place where anyone can make their own American dream possible. I look forward to working with this community to make stories like mine more common for the next generation of Western Coloradans.”

Republican Jackie Harmon is ahead (with 12,162 votes) of Democrat Becky Moller (who carries 11,006 votes) and in line to succeed departing Garfield County clerk Jean Alberico.

“As promised, I will lead the office with the highest level of customer service and integrity,” Harmon told The Sopris Sun. “I will be dedicated to implementing innovative ideas that will refine the day to day operations of the office and best accommodate the citizens of Garfield County.”

Republican Carrie Couey leads the race for Garfield County treasurer with a similar margin, 12,053 votes to Democrat Aron Diaz’s 11,119.

“I had a strong opponent and a very hard and close race,” Couey told The Sopris Sun. “I will look for ways to continue to provide the best possible service for the people of Garfield County.”

Neck and neck
The race for Garfield County’s district one commissioner seat was close but Republican incumbent Tom Jankovsky prevailed over Democrat challenger Ryan Gordon — 12,058 to 11,604 votes respectively.

The morning of Wednesday Nov. 9, when the race was extremely close, in a reply to The Sopris Sun, Gordon noted, in part, that “The vote is obviously very close at the moment and we want to make sure that every vote is counted. I have full faith in our county that they are taking all the right steps to ensure this happens. It’s great to see democracy up close!” He also said, “Running for county commissioner has been an amazing experience. I’ve been able to meet with so many great and thoughtful people throughout our county.”

At the time, Jankovky replied but stated that he was still expecting the unofficial results to come in and preferred not to comment before then.

Notably, as of 9 a.m. on Nov. 10, Democrat challenger Adam Frisch leads incumbent Republican Lauren Boebert by an extremely close margin, 156,746 to 156,682 votes, in the race to represent the United States’ Third Congressional District. 

Proposition FF which entails a state-wide tax increase to provide free nutritious school lunches to public school students will likely pass, with 55% of voters in favor.

Proposition 121 which brings the state income tax rate down from 4.55% to 4.4% is likely to pass, with more than 65% of voters in favor.

As noted in this week’s Carbondale Report, the town’s “Proposition 2A passed, establishing a 6% sales tax on visitors staying at a short-term rental (less than 30 consecutive days) and creating the town’s first dedicated fund to help fund affordable housing initiatives.”

In Glenwood Springs, Ballot Issue 2C which also calls for a lodging tax increase with funds going toward workforce housing is also likely to pass, with 55.19% voting in favor.

All of the aforementioned results are deemed unofficial with ballots left to count. Visit www.bit.ly/2022MidtermsGarfield for additional election results.