Local Republicans vote contrary to state gubernatorial results

Kopp wins by large margin in La Plata County ,

but only takes 4th in statewide race for nomination

Republican primary voters in La Plata County went contrary to statewide results Tuesday in their preference for Mike Kopp to challenge Gov. John Hickenlooper in November.

Statewide, Bob Beauprez won the party nomination and Kopp finished fourth behind Tom Tancredo and current Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

The unofficial tally in La Plata County was Kopp with 1,001 votes, Beauprez 836, Tancredo 734, and Gessler 638.

Statewide as of Wednesday morning with 53 of 64 counties tallied, Beauprez led with 115,388, Tancredo 101,953, Gessler 88,583, and Kopp 75,685.

County and 3rd Congressional District Republicans gave an easy win to second term Congressman Scott Tipton from Cortez over challenger David Cox.

In the county it was Tipton 2,647, Cox 669.

For the 3rd District as of Wednesday morning with 25 of 29 counties tallied, it was Tipton 45,712, Cox 15,598.

In the State School Board District 3 race, Marcia Neal won in La Plata County and narrowly for the district with 25 of 29 counties tallied. The county vote was Neal 1,504, Barbara Smith 1,182. For the district as of Wednesday morning, Neal led by less than 2,000 votes, 26,044 to 24,311.

Democrats and a few American Constitution Party voters also cast ballots despite a lack of any contested races.

In La Plata County, 3,504 Republicans voted out of 12,983 registered. Among Democrats 2,442 voted out of 12,950 registered. Twelve of 104 ACP members voted.

The county has 41,794 eligible voters including inactives and the largest group, unaffiliateds. Unaffiliateds had to align with a party to vote in the primary.

In the U.S. Senate race, uncontested on both the Democratic and Republican ballots, local Dems gave incumbent Mark Udall 2,352 votes. Local Republicans gave challenger Cory Gardner 2,834 votes.

Scott Tipton's 3rd District challenger, Abel Tapia, got 1,959 votes from county Democrats.

Gov. Hickenlooper got 2,318 votes from local Democrats.

No county offices had contested primary races.

In the county commissioner district 1 (Durango) race to replace Bobby Lieb, Democrat Cynthia Roebuck got 2,105 votes from party affiliates, and Republican Brad Blake got 2,724 votes from Republican affiliates.

In the sheriff's race, longtime incumbent Duke Schirard got 2,771 Republican votes. Challenger Sean Smith got 2,151 votes on the Democrats' ballot.

In the race to replace longtime treasurer Ed Murray, Bobby Lieb, the current county commissioner, got 2,693 Republican votes. Allison Morrissey got 2,110 Democratic votes.

County Clerk Tiffany Parker, running unopposed for a second term, got 2,928 votes from Republicans.

Longtime incumbent County Assessor Craig Larson, also running unopposed, got 2,190 Democratic votes.

County Coroner Jan Smith and Surveyor Larry Connolly also are unopposed for re-election.

County Election Clerk Erin Hutchins commented Tuesday evening that the turnout of Republicans and Democrats was surprisingly equal despite the lack of any contested races on the Democratic ballot.

Many ballots mailed in or deposited in drop boxes were processed before 7 p.m. Tuesday when voting closed. That means election judges checked the envelops for signatures and stamped the date on them. The same thing happened at the county clerk's main office in Bodo Industrial Park Tuesday evening for mailed and drop box ballots received by 7 p.m. One woman made it into the clerk's office to deposit her ballot with about 30 seconds to spare.

Election judges always work in teams of two, and they can't be registered with the same party. So it can be a Democrat and a Republican or other party, or an unaffiliated voter working together.

They brought the ballots in from dropboxes at Bayfield and Ignacio town halls, the county courthouse and fairgrounds.

Once the envelopes are checked for signatures and stamped, and the signature matched with the one on the person's voter registration, two person teams take bundles of ballots to a separate county space for processing, because there isn't space in the clerk's office, especially during the November election.

That processing also is overseen by two person judge teams. Ballots are checked to make sure they are in the envelope they were sent out with. Then they are removed and separated from the envelopes. They are checked for mistakes such as marking more than one candidate in a race.

Election judge Ellen Park said if that happens and a voter crosses out one vote so their intent is clear, judges must duplicate the ballot without the mistake so it can be tallied.

Katie Aggelar was on the team that brought ballots from Ignacio Tuesday evening. She said there was a good turnout in Ignacio Tuesday.

When bundles of ballots have been processed, they are brought back to the clerk's office to be tallied. The first tally was ballots processed before voting closed. The much smaller second and final batch was tallied by 9 p.m.

County Clerk Tiffany Parker said there were no provisional ballots - those where voter eligibility had to be determined.

She said 91 ballots are in an eight-day "cure" period for an envelope that wasn't signed, the signature didn't match the voter registration, or the ballot wasn't in its proper envelope. If more than one person in a household gets a ballot, the ballots cannot be switched between envelopes. More than one ballot cannot be returned in one envelope.

The clerk's office will contact those voters in writing to come to the clerk's office by July 2 to correct the problem so the ballot can be counted.

Overseas military ballots also must be received within the eight-day cure period. They must have been mailed by 7 p.m. on election day.

The official vote canvas will be July 7.