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City election down to the wire

By Carin R. Kirkegaard

While most of the elections in Douglas County last month had a clear margin of victory, the City of Castle Pines mayoral race came down to the wire, putting the democratic process to the test.

With rankings changing following every incremental count and a margin of only 22 votes ultimately determining the winner, ensuring every vote was accurately counted was a critical – and time consuming – part of the election process.

According to Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz, the small percentage of votes that are kicked out of the system due to things like signature errors generally don’t have a substantial impact on election results.

“In the case of Castle Pines this year, those handful of ballots made a difference, and that additional verification process takes time,” he said. Klotz went on to explain that in order to protect the anonymity of those handful of votes to be verified (or “cured”), additional ballots were held out to mix in with the cured ones. “In the end, the voters can have a high degree of confidence in the process,” he said.

A total of 5,128 votes were cast in the City of Castle Pines mayoral race (more than 1,700 on Election Day) – an increase of 27% from the previous election. More than 55% of registered voters in the City of Castle Pines participated this year, compared to the Douglas County average of 40% and the state average of 37%. The good news … civic engagement in Castle Pines was at an all-time high.



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