Talon News - Good Local News

By Patricia Stuart



County Clerk Office Manager.Arlenta Horse-Dickie working late into the 11th hour toward official count..-PHOTO-P. Stuart - TALON

Workings and Results of Election Day

PHOTOS & STORY by Patricia Stuart, TALON

The Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 Primary was met with anticipation in San Juan County as registered Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians came to the polls. Throughout our elections, candidates, voters, county election officials and employees demonstrate the election process put in place by our founding fathers. Although some of these procedures have changed, our right and freedom to elect those who serve has not. If anyone questions whether their vote really matters, this was an election that showed every ballot does counts. The number of ballots cast in a general election is usually daunting but in this county's primary elections a candidate will win a tight race sometimes with fewer than a hundred votes at times running neck and neck, ahead with only twenty votes. A primary election is an important time when we can remind our neighbors, friends and family to get registered and vote making all the difference.

After the polls closed, ballots were carried to the county clerks office from around the county. "There have been more votes (cast) this election" than the last Primary Election said Arlenta Horse-Dickie, San Juan County Clerk Office Manager as she facilitated the handling of paperwork. Horse-Dickie, Deb Martinez, Election Clerk, Tamara Murphy, Deputy Clerk and other dedicated county employees worked diligently late into Tuesday night to bring in the official counts of the the election. Bags and boxes of official ballots and necessary documents lined the walls of the room at the Clerks Office from 32 of the 33 polling sites scattered throughout the county. As of 11:00 P.M., staff waited for the delivery of ballots from the Crystal Chapter Facilities site to arrive after a long and busy day.

One of the main problems causing confusion in this election, according to San Juan County Clerk Tanya Shelby, has been that people were not registered as Republican, Democrat or Libertarian. In a Primary Election in the State of NM, a voter must be registered as one of the three if they wish to cast their vote. In addition, voter, Gerald Lobato commented, "a lot of candidates were running unopposed. That Surprised me!" He also mentioned he would like to see more nominees for each party a feeling that was also shared by other people around the county. On Republican, Democrat and Libertarian Ballots, many ran unopposed.

According to the SJC Preliminary Election Summary Report there were and 14,388 ballots cast. 4,442 were early votes plus five provisional ballots. Provisional Ballots can delay the official count. In the state of NM, a voter can be issued a provisional ballot for two reasons; if his/her name is not the roster at the place where a voter wishes to cast their vote or a first time voter who registered by mail does not provide the required identification. These votes will be counted if the voter returns and presents one of the required forms of ID to the County Clerks office before 5p.m. on the 2nd day following the election, otherwise the vote will be rejected. Finding our polling place early and ensuring that we have a valid ID and Voter Registration Card can reduce ballot rejections and delays.

The preliminary election results for San Juan County are as follows:

Democrat County Commissioner District 1: Glojean B. Todacheene: 619, Wallace Charley: 495, Wetona L. Becenti: 311, Zachariah Jason George: 294

Republican Magistrate Judge Division 1: Gary McDaniel: 1,320, Erich Cole: 844, Frank Ernest Dart: 247

Republican Probate Judge: Stacy D. Biel: 3,518, Gary Edd Risley: 3,392, Brandt E. Thrower: 1,965

Republican County Sheriff: R. Shane Ferrari: 8,019, Tommy Bolack: 1,297

At the SJC Court Clerk's Office, Republican Probate Judge Candidate, Gary Edd Risley checked the poll reports as they seemingly trickled onto the screen. Early voter results showed he was ahead but as the night drew on, Biel's numbers slowly surpassed his. He was somewhat anxious about the results and before the last two polls came in he graciously said, "I congratulate Stacy (Biel) on her win. She worked hard. She deserved it." He exemplified the comment he made earlier in the evening, "We all agree on the problem, it's in the solutions where we differ," relating the importance of being civil and repectful of fellow nominees. The conversation in the group awaiting the results easily made an impression that these candidates work considerably hard and often spend quite a bit of their own money and time running for these elected positions. Campaigning and taking the necessary tedious steps to run for office is quite an undertaking. The appreciation of candidates for being willing to "throw their hat in the ring" to serve the citizens of our community is another way we can ensure our political process continues for generations to come.


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