Colorado town sees less than 1 percent turnout in election during coronavirus

A Colorado city of about 5,000 saw voter turnout of only 16 people in its municipal election April 7 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Glendale city clerk Veronica Marvin told The Denver Post that 13 people requested absentee ballots ahead of the election and only three voted in person.

“We tried to get the word out on our website that we were conducting absentee ballots and we didn’t have a cutoff for requesting those absentee ballots, like the Friday before, that you usually have,” said Marvin, who added she ordered 500 ballots for in-person voting and mailed another 16 to military personnel and overseas citizens. “We had it open until 7 p.m. on Election Day.”

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Among the electorate, 12 people voted to reelect Mayor Michael Dunafon in an uncontested election, while another four incumbents won uncontested city council elections based on 13 votes. A ballot initiative to require the city manager to extend how far he or she may live outside the city limits from five to 10 miles passed 14-2, according to the newspaper.

“We tried to get voters in here,” Marvin told the newspaper, “but I understand.”

The health risks of voting have been a major concern among local and state officials, particularly during the ongoing primaries. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced the state’s primary and Supreme Court election would be canceled before he was overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Milwaukee health officials announced Monday they have linked seven cases of the virus to in-person voting, with Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik saying this included six voters and one poll worker.

“As you recall, there were people that were in line for a very long time to get their vote in, so if you figure out around a range of time when someone was there or in the polling sites or in the line, connect to someone who was an actual case, that’s when we would do notifications,” she said.

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