Early voting at courthouse

Campaign spending limit on the ballot


Friday is the last day for residents to vote early in the Nov. 3 general election.

Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. each day this week at the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way.

The ballot has four items on it: Three Moffat County School Board seats are up for election, and the city posted a ballot question asking voters if they want to repeal a city charter provision on campaign spending limits.

Only one of the School Board seats is contested.

Christine Balderston is running for the District 6 seat, and voters have the option of voting for a write-in candidate of their choice.

As of yet, no one has openly campaigned against Balderston.

Lisa Richardson, a 19-year-old Craig resident, initially said she would campaign as a write-in candidate but later dropped out of the race.

Karen Stillion and Sandra Johns, running for district 2 and 4 seats, respectively, are unopposed.

The city's ballot question refers to a charter provision that limits candidates for municipal office from spending more than $500 of their own money on their campaigns.

The provision came under fire earlier this year after the Craig City Council cited local resident Francisco Reina with a Class A municipal violation for spending more than allowed on his campaign for city council in April.

The city dismissed its citation after Reina's defense team, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a counter-suit in Moffat County District Court claiming the city's spending limit violated the right to free speech.

The city settled out of court in July and agreed to pay $2,243.50 to cover Reina's legal fees, as well as permanently void its campaign spending limit, unless the Supreme Court ever rules such a limit is constitutional.

Although the charter provision is essentially dead, only a vote by residents can change the charter.

Whether residents elect to keep or dismiss the spending limit, it will not apply to future municipal elections.

However, some officials have speculated local voters could make an interesting statement if they choose to keep the provision, despite it being ruled unconstitutional in a previous Supreme Court case.

Several city councilors publicly endorsed the spending limit on the basis that it would keep money from playing a large part in local politics.


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