FARMINGTON — Voter turnout was steady — albeit low — throughout Tuesday's municipal elections in Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington.
In Farmington, 3,206 people cast ballots in the election out of 26,826 residents who registered to vote, according to Farmington City Clerk Dianne Smylie. That's a voter turnout rate of slightly less than 12 percent.
The turnout in Aztec was just over 6 percent, with 255 of the 4,173 registered voters participating in the election, said Karla Sayler, Aztec' city clerk. Bloomfield's voter turnout rate was slightly higher at a little more than 7 percent, with 278 of the 3,881 registered voters casting ballots, said Bloomfield City Clerk Jamie Thomas.
In Farmington, Mayor Tommy Roberts won his bid for re-election, easily defeating challenger Matt Dodson. Nate Duckett also beat challenger Debra Mayeux for the city council's District 4 seat. Over in Aztec, voters chose Mayor Sally Burbridge over Joe Hubbard for the District 2 seat.
In Farmington, Bill Liese was elected to serve as full-time municipal judge, and Bill Standley will be the part-time municipal judge.
The sole contested race in Bloomfield was for judge, and Marlon Maloy beat Kristi Philips.
In Farmington, six polling sites opened at 7 a.m. and closed at 7 p.m.
Exercising the right to vote was one reason Farmington resident Amy Foust, who pointed to the "I voted" sticker on her jacket, cast a ballot at the Piñon Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church polling location.
Foust said she was the 85th person to vote there, and in her opinion, it was a "disappointing" turnout.
"It's disappointing how people don't participate in local elections. These are the elections that are going to affect you and your children," she said.
When asked how she would boost voter participation, Foust said social media is an important tool to use.
"There is no excuse not to," she said.
Among those casting ballots at the Farmington Public Library was city resident Donna Andrews.
"I needed to vote," she said. "It's my privilege."
Andrews said she voted for Roberts for mayor, Liese for municipal judge and Standley for part-time municipal judge — all of whom won on Tuesday.
"I think he's an honest person," Andrews said of Roberts, adding that she believes he will continue to be ready to face the challenges of leading the city.
Traffic at both polling sites remained steady during the mid-morning Tuesday.
In Aztec, resident Lawrence Brousil was the 54th person to vote.
"I suppose they won't have too good a turnout today," he said. "It's really voting for just one person."
In the race for the District 2 seat, Brousil said he voted for Burbridge because "she's done a good job."
Aztec runs on the commission-manager form of government. Commission members vote after the election to appoint the mayor
Lifelong Aztec resident Suzanne Russell came out to vote to show her support for the current administration.
"I really am pleased with the progress that Aztec has made with the Riverside Park and the Tiger Sports Center. I think they're headed in the right direction," Russell said.
She said she voted for Burbridge who she described as a person who gives "150 percent of everything."
Aztec resident Mark Lewis stopped at city hall to cast his vote before heading to work.
"I think it is important to vote in all elections, but especially in local elections where you're going to have the greatest voice," Lewis said.Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @nsmithdt on Twitter.