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San Juan County clerk sees increase in voter turnout for Nov. 5 elections

The turnout for the election was 11.7 percent of registered voters

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
Virginia and Emilia Weaver, after Virginia, Emilia's mother, voted at the Farmingtion Museum on Election Day, Nov. 5, 2019.
  • There were 8,562 San Juan County residents who voted during the Nov. 5 election.
  • There were 11 seats on the ballot for San Juan County schools with three seats on the San Juan College Board.
  • For the Nov. 5 election, Aztec schools had a 17 percent voter turn out while Bloomfield schools had 15 percent.

FARMINGTON — The San Juan County Clerk believes the consolidation of certain elections led to an increase in voter turnout for the Nov. 5 college board, school board and San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District elections.

There were 8,562 San Juan County residents who voted during the election, which had a turnout of 11.7 percent of registered voters, according to San Juan County Clerk Tanya Shelby. There were 526 absentee ballots.

The results are unofficial until the San Juan County Commission certifies the results.

There were 11 seats on the ballot for San Juan County schools with three seats each on the San Juan College Board and the San Juan Soil and Water Conservation Board.

Aztec and Bloomfield schools each had a mill levy question on the ballot, and they each were passed by the voters. Both of those questions had failed during a Feb. 5 special, all-mail election.

Normally school or college board elections generate about a six percent voter turnout and were typically held in February, Shelby said.

The Local Election Act mandated that elections, including community college districts, school district and flood control districts, will be held in November of odd-number years, according to The Daily Times archives.

This is the first election held following the consolidation. 

"I voted" stickers in both English and Navajo were plentiful at the polling station inside the Farmington Museum on Election Day, Nov. 5, 2019.

Higher turnout

Shelby cited the mill levy questions for Aztec and Bloomfield as an example of the increase in voter turnout.

The same questions were on the ballot during a February 2013 election, when Aztec schools had just a 6.19 percent voter turnout, while Bloomfield schools had 6.58 percent turnout.

The  Aztec schools question saw a 17 percent voter turnout this election while Bloomfield schools had 15 percent.

Some of the San Juan College Board races generated more votes than the total vote count for the March 2017 election.

There were 1,657 votes for the San Juan College Board of Education District 6 seat on Nov. 5, while 566 total votes were counted for the March 7, 2017 election, which had five candidates competing for two seats.

Some county school board elections saw a sharp increase in voter turnout.

The Farmington schools District 4 seat had 824 votes cast during the Nov. 5 election while 399 votes were counted during the Feb. 3, 2015, election.

Signs, and people supporting, Kyle Rhodes for School Board District 4, are seen outside of the Farmington Museum on Election Day, Nov. 5, 2019.

A small number of residents took advantage of same-day voter registration in San Juan County.

Governor Michele Lujan Grisham signed legislation this year allowing eligible residents to register to vote on Election Day.

The clerk's office had 15 people register and vote on Nov. 5 but only two of them were first-time voters, according to Shelby.

Most of the people filed address changes, which did not affect their ballots.

Shelby thanked the poll workers, clerk's office staff and other county departments which provided assistance during the election for their exceptional work.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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Henry and Theresa Rottschafer after voting at Farmington Museum on Nov. 5, 2019.