City considers getting rid of mail-in ballots
Aspen City Council is considering getting rid of permanent mail-in ballots in an effort to ensure that people don’t commit voter fraud.
People can currently collect discarded mail-in ballots and cast them in favor of their candidate, Mayor Mick Ireland said at a meeting on Monday.
Dwight Shellman, former Pitkin County elections manager who was at the meeting, acknowledged that people could attempt to drive an election by stealing trashed ballots. Still, the local government has a system in place that compares state-documented signatures to mail-in ballots in order to catch forged documents.
“No election official can control what a voter does with their mail at the post office,” Shellman said. “But to me that is not that large of a concern.”
Getting rid of mail-in ballots would require all residents to cast their votes at polling places, which could put undo stress on the system on election day, Shellman argued.
Council discussed the policy during a first reading of new legislation that would tighten campaign finance rules. Council will take up the topic again in a public hearing on Feb. 25. If the new legislation is approved, it will take effect prior to the municipal May election for two council seats and mayor.
High school assistant principal finalist for the top job in Bozeman High School
Jeff Kraunz, the assistant principal at Aspen High School, is one of four finalists in the running for an open principal position at Bozeman High School in Montana.
Kraunz attended a public reception on Thursday at the high school, which has 1,900 students, where he answered questions on why he would be the right person for the job.
Kraunz told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that he is a good candidate for the job because he is a student-centered leader and believes in creating powerful relationships with students, parents and staff.
Kraunz, 39, has held his position at Aspen High School for the past five years. Prior to that he worked as a teacher, counselor and ski coach in Massachusetts.
Locals place 10th in ski mountaineering world championships in Pelvoux, France
Local ski patroller Max Taam and Strafe Outerwear owner John Gaston placed 10th in the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) World Championship in Pelvoux, France on Saturday.
The two-man team represented the United States and completed the course in 2:58:54. It was the strongest performance by the U.S. National Team in the competition’s history. Americans have not placed in the top 15 spots since the biannual race was first held in 2002.
There were 30 pairs competing in Saturday’s race, including two other American teams, who placed 17th and 21st, while teams from France and Italy took six of the top 10 spots.