Voting Hands and Ballot Box

Voters rejected three recall questions for local officials in the town of Elizabeth and city of Idaho Springs, unofficial results showed.

By 15 votes out of 365 cast, Mayor Megan Vasquez survived her attempted recall in the Elbert County town of approximately 1,400 people. Board of Trustees member Tammy Payne also kept her seat by an 11-vote margin. Because the results are unofficial, they are subject to change. In December, two other trustee recalls with similarly close races ultimately resulted in both members being recalled, even though the unofficial results showed one trustee to be victorious.

There were also five seats up for election on the town board, with six candidates contesting those positions. Incumbents Angela Ternus and Loren E. Einspahr held their seats, as did Ronald S. Weaver, one of the successful challengers in December’s recall.

Jason Weiss, the other successful recall candidate, was running to unseat Vasquez on Tuesday.

In Idaho Springs, Mayor Michael Hillman also turned away a recall attempt, winning nearly 59% of the vote. Hillman will complete his second term, and wrote in a Facebook message to supporters that his priority remains responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In both jurisdictions, residents’ unease about the pace of development fueled the recalls. Vasquez told Colorado Politics that annexations of land for development into Elizabeth made sense in order for future residents to be closer to town resources.

“Recent residential developments were approved in response to a need for a more diverse and attainable housing stock in the Elizabeth area,” she said.

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