According to the City Clerk’s office, it may not be possible to hold a special election to fill a currently vacant seat on Longmont City Council before the end of next March or early April at the earliest.
This tentative timeline would depend on Longmont’s ability to contract with a private supplier to conduct this election, since the electoral units of the Boulder and Weld County Clerks’ Offices – who would normally handle a special election for Longmont, since the city crosses the border between the two counties – will be tied to other duties much of next year, including their responsibilities in the conduct of the 2022 primary and general elections for the county government, legislative and federal offices of States that will appear on next year’s ballots.
Boulder and Weld County Clerks’ Offices could hold Longmont City Council’s special election concurrent with the November 2022 general election, but that would mean leaving the council seat vacant in the meantime, according to a report. to council of city clerk Dawn Quintana and city staff.
The problem, and which will be discussed at Tuesday night’s board meeting, is when to hold a special election at the general council headquarters formerly occupied by Joan Peck. Peck won the election for mayor of Longmont on November 2. Peck resigned his seat on the council and was sworn in as mayor on November 8.
Peck was originally re-elected to her extraordinary seat in 2019, for a term ending in November 2023, and Longmont’s municipal charter now requires a special election to be held to elect someone to fill the remainder of that two-year term. years. .
However, “the Town of Longmont is not equipped or staffed to administer the election due to our long history of coordinating with (Boulder) County,” staff wrote to council for Tuesday night’s meeting.
Staff said they “promote election coordination with the county because of Boulder County’s reputation and proven track record of safe, secure and accurate elections, but staff also understand that the council can prefer to fill the position earlier and that residents expect to be represented in their local government âduring the months when the seat remains empty.
Currently, and until the winner of a special election can take the general seat, what would normally be a seven-member Longmont council is reduced to six: Mayor Peck, City Councilor Tim Waters, Councilor City Councilor Susie Hidalgo-Fahring, City Councilor Marcia Martin, City Councilor Aren Rodriguez and City Councilor Shiquita Yarbrough.
âFor many years, the Town of Longmont administered city council elections by contracting or coordinating with Boulder County and the Weld County Clerk and Recorder offices. However, this is not an option for a special election in early 2022 and staff are seeking guidance from council on when to hold the special election and how to administer it, âthe staff said in their note for the discussion. Tuesday evening.
Colorado County clerks are amending their electoral district maps to conform to new congressional and state legislative district maps adopted by independent state redistribution commissions and approved by the Colorado Supreme Court for comply with 2020 U.S. Census demographics.
These new county maps are to be implemented by county clerks across the state in early 2022 to be prepared for the June 28, 2022 primary elections. Thus, counties are not available to coordinate a special election for. Longmont in 2022, City staff wrote to council, “Due to the heavy burden of ensuring that all redistribution changes are implemented and that the systems are ready for use for the primary and fall elections. “.
Even though Longmont contracted with a private special election provider, Colorado law “provides various date bumpers around the election to help avoid voter confusion,” staff said. A special election cannot be scheduled 32 days before or after a primary, general or congressional election and no election can be scheduled 90 days before a regular election.
Since a statewide primary election is scheduled for June 28 and a regular election for November 8, “we would not be able to schedule a special election between May 27 and July 30, 2022, nor after August 10, 2022 “, the staff mentioned.
Staff said other important factors affecting the timing of special elections are:
- A postal voting plan must be approved by the Secretary of State 90 days before the election.
- Candidates for the Council are expected to submit nomination petitions between the 91st and 71st days before the election.
- An electoral salesperson must be available. Staff said a potential supplier the city spoke to indicated that since the special districts will hold their elections on May 3, 2022, it would be necessary to avoid late April and early May; this supplier suggested that Longmont look at the dates in late March or early April.
âConsidering all of these factors, staff recommend that if the board decides on this option, that the date be set no earlier than late March or early April,â the staff said.
Rather than contracting a private supplier to hold the special elections, Longmont could follow its past practice or arrange for the County Clerks of Boulder and Weld to deal with it as part of their preparation procedures and to conduct the general election next November, which staff noted “the city has been doing for many years. However, this option would leave the council vacant for several months.”
If you are going to:
What: Regular meeting of Longmont municipal council
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Or: Civic Center Council Room, 350 Kimbark Street, Longmont