Vote turnout
 sets record 
at 95 percent

Mesa County broke a record in turnout when voters went to the polls last week.

More than 95 percent of the county’s 76,075 registered voters cast a ballot on Election Day, topping 2008’s record turnout of 92 percent, said Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner.

Delta County came close to topping its record of 77.75 percent, set during the 2008 elections, but fell short by more than a percentage point.

Final election numbers became available on Thursday after area counties completed their counts of all ballots, including provisional and overseas ballots.

In Mesa County, the results showed that in House District 54, Rep.-elect Jared Wright won with barely a plurality, 50.69 percent.

When added to Delta County’s portion of the district, however, Wright won the race with 52.4 percent of the vote compared to Libertarian Tim Menger, who ended up with 36.4 percent.

The two percentages don’t add up to 100 because of what is known as the undervote — voters who cast ballots in other races but not in that one.

For House District 54, that count was 11.2 percent, more than twice the undervote in House District 55, where Rep. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, defeated his Democratic challenger, Dan Robinson, by a comfortable 21-percent margin.

Despite the final count, Menger said he wasn’t satisfied that he actually lost the race.

As a result, Menger said he planned to visit Reiner’s office today to perform his own count, or at least a sampling of it.

“I’m not being a sore loser, but I keep getting calls from people saying they can’t believe I didn’t win,” Menger said. “I just want to satisfy myself. If I really did lose, then I’ll accept that determination.”

Even if all the undervotes had gone Menger’s way, it still wouldn’t have been enough to put him over the top.


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