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Myers loses recall by a wide margin

Posted: Friday, Jan 27th, 2012

Carla Gomez

SAGUACHE — Those waiting Tuesday evening at the Fourth Street Diner, the past gathering place for recall meetings, were surprised when poll watcher Steve Carlson rang in at 8 p.m. with unofficial election results: voters resoundingly decided to unseat Saguache County Clerk and Recorder Melinda Myers in favor of Carla Gomez, the 2010 Republican candidate for county clerk.

Although the 2010 race involved far more candidates and ballot questions, the hand count of Tuesday’s race was conducted little by little as votes were delivered to the courthouse from the precincts throughout the day. This helped speed up final tallies. The unofficial results were reported by precinct  for the first time since 2006.

As can be seen above, former Myers garnered only 453 votes in the election, most of which were cast from precinct five in Crestone. 

“Saguache County made history tonight in taking back their elections and their government,” recall organizer Lisa Cyriacks commented Tuesday evening. “Eyes around the nation were watching with interest to see how this small rural county turned out for hand-counted paper ballots.”  

Cyriacks, who spoke to election judges as they left the courthouse at 8:30 p.m., said the judges reported that it went smoothly and they felt a real sense of community. “One judge said she felt honored to have participated in a democratic process based on the principles this nation was founded on. Another judge stated that the level of professionalism and the training was head and shoulders above any other election she had worked.”

An unofficial review of the demographics shows that more than 50 percent of the votes were cast by Democrats, Cyriacks pointed out, with the balance almost evenly divided between Republicans and Unaffiliated Voters.  There are 31 provisional ballots still outstanding, overseas votes that may yet be counted and mail-in ballots that could yet arrive.  The votes will be canvassed Feb. 2.

“Based on the numbers, I think the will of the voters is clear,” County Clerk-elect Gomez said. “I believe in the message voters sent; I understand it and I get it.” She said her goal is to “listen to the people and serve the people efficiently and respectfully.” She also commented that, “The courthouse building and all its contents belong to the people; whoever works in that building works for the people.”

Gomez already was planning her entry into the clerk’s position following the win. She asked that voters exercise “patience and understanding” during what she anticipates will be a hectic transition period. She will be sworn in on Feb. 7.

Myers was not available for comment on Tuesday.

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