Withdrawn City Council candidate will be on ballot

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Mardi Gras may be over and done, but the City Council candidates’ party has just begun.

Tom Gallagher withdrew his bid for the at-large seat on City Council and is endorsing former opponent Tim Pleasant. Gallagher made the March 9 deadline for dropping out of the City Council race. However, the ballots were sent to the printer Feb. 16, according to the City Clerk and Recorders office.

That means Gallagher’s name will appear on the ballot and voters can vote for him. But during the vote tally, his name will be blocked and those votes will not be counted, said the city clerk’s office.

“It seems the cart got put in front of the horse,” Gallagher said. “You don’t send the ballot out to the printer’s when the final date hasn’t arrived. Why they (City Clerk and Recorder) decided to send the ballot to the printers on Feb. 16 is beyond me.”

City Clerk Kathryn Young said information was sent to the printer to meet time constraints in getting the ballot out to those participating in early voting.

“So we can’t wait until the ninth of March to print ballots,” Young said. “It takes a while for everything to get printed.”

Young said the city was unable to reschedule the deadline for candidates’ withdrawal because a statute in the Colorado Municipal Election Code states it must be precisely 23 days before the election.

So, while there may be fears of invalid votes in the style of Florida, Gallagher says he will do his part to minimize confusion.

As Election Day edges nearer, Gallagher said, he will attend more forums and let the public know that even though his name will be on the ballot, he prefers that voters support Tim Pleasant instead.