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KSJD Local Newscast - April 9, 2024

The Montezuma County commissioners have settled on a rate of 1 percent for a proposed public-safety sales tax that would fund the sheriff’s office and detention center. That would raise about $8.2 million annually, according to an estimate from the state. The board agreed to exempt farm equipment from the tax, which is to go before voters in November. The commissioners’ final vote on the tax resolution is tentatively planned for next week.

Using full hand counts to tabulate ballots during elections would take more time, cost more money, and be more complex and confusing than fully automated counts. That was the message Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell gave the county commissioners during their workshop Monday. Responding to concerns voiced by some constituents in the past regarding the validity of elections, Percell cited a report written for election officials that said a full hand count “practically guarantees complexity, higher costs, delays and mistakes.” Limited hand counts continue to be used to audit election results. She said she understands people’s concerns and wants to ensure that the system is safe. On Tuesday, Commission Chairman Jim Candelaria said Percell had provided good and valuable information.

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Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.