Moffat County vote center shows state’s busiest Election Day activity, increase over 2008 primary voter turnout

By the numbers

Final results for Moffat County candidates in the 2010 primary:

County Commission District 2

• Audrey Danner — 1,206, 52.07%

• Tony St. John — 1,110, 47.93%

County Commission District 3

• Tom Mathers — 1,197, 51.04%

• Frank Moe — 1,148, 48.96%

County Clerk & Recorder

• Lila Herod — 2,078, 100%

Moffat County Assessor

• Robert Razzano — 1,297, 55.36%

• Carol Scott, 1,046, 44.64%

Moffat County Coroner

• Kirk McKey — 1,314, 56.98%

• Larry Dalton — 992, 43.02%

Moffat County Sheriff

• Tim Jantz — 2,099, 100%

Moffat County Surveyor

• Peter Epp — 2,094, 100%

Moffat County Treasurer

• Elaine Sullivan — 1,826, 77.05%

• Mike Brinks — 544, 22.95%

Numbers for the Aug. 10 primary election showed a marked increase in voter turnout as compared to 2008 results.

With a total of 2,732 registered county voters participating in the primary, the turnout was 47.43 percent of the overall 5,760 voters, as determined by election officials’ final count Friday.

That turnout was significantly higher than the 2008 primary, which saw only about 5 percent of registered voters.

Election supervisor Stephanie Beckett said most Moffat County elections have an average of about 30 percent turnout.

“It’s an exciting rise,” she said.

“I was a little disappointed with the turnout for early voting for the first couple days, but it turned out well,” she said.

Final numbers were confirmed Friday, when Beckett met with the county’s canvas board for certification, primarily to check the status of provisional ballots, 27 of 30 of which were deemed eligible.

The canvas board consists of two community members with election experience — one registered Republican and one registered Democrat.

Democrat Marilyn Hill served on the county’s canvas board for the first time.

“I’ve worked as an election judge for Park and Douglas County, so I’m used to the process,” she said. “Being on the canvas board has different requirements, though. It’s a different aspect of the election.”

The canvas board’s responsibilities include checking voting machinery, verifying the count of ballots and, ultimately, certifying the election’s results.

Hill said she was glad to be working alongside Corrie Ponikvar, who has been part of the canvas board for the last five elections as the Republican representative.

“It was a really good experience doing it with Corrie because she really knows what she’s doing,” she said. “I’d be more than happy to do it again for the November election.”

Ponikvar said she used to be on the election resolution board before transferring to the canvas board.

“I’ve been working with the elections in some capacity or another for 30 years,” she said.

She described the canvas board as being “the last process of the election,” with state officials randomly selecting pieces of equipment and political races for the board to audit and ensure that the election has gone smoothly.

“It’s one more step in showing the public that voting is done fairly and equitably,” Ponikvar said. “Even with all the changes to voting machines, we’re still checking to make sure all the paperwork is correct. The election judges are so well-trained, they make it really easy for us.”

Ponikvar will serve on the canvas board for November’s general election, as well, which she expects will not be much different than the primary, with one exception.

“Since we have two write-in candidates, we’ll have to pay close attention to each ballot,” she said.

Beckett said she did not know what to predict for November, other than a higher voter turnout, as indicated by the 5 percent turnout for the 2008 compared to the 70 percent turnout for the 2008 general election.

“The general election is usually always busier,” she said.

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