Lift 1A

The Lift One vote on Tuesday was close, but not close enough to trigger a recount, according to the city of Aspen. Pictured are mountain users in February climbing up the S. Aspen Street hill to access the present-day Lift 1A chairlift.

The vote on the Lift One corridor project was close, but not close enough to trigger an automatic recount.

An opposing party could still request a recount within 10 days of the vote, but they would have to pay for it if the outcome was unchanged.

State statute mandates a recount when the margin of victory is within 0.5 percent of the winning vote count, according to city attorney Jim True. In the case of the Lift One corridor project, that would require the margin to be within eight votes.

The 26-vote margin of victory — 1,555, or 50.4 percent, to 1,529, or 49.6 percent, out of 3,084 ballots cast on the issue — is greater than that threshold.

The vote is close enough that it could inspire a recall demand from an interested party. However, Alex Biel, a representative of the vote-no effort reached on Wednesday, said he was not aware of any such request. He said he would be curious to learn more about the process and cost, but conceded that a recount would be unlikely to overturn the outcome.

Ballots in the municipal election are counted by machine. A logic and accuracy test will take place Friday as part of the election certification process, where a sample of ballots are hand counted, with results compared to the machine count.

True said he is unsure what the cost of a recount would be. It would depend on whether a hand count would be required, he said.

The Lift One corridor project includes two hotels (the Lift One Lodge and Gorsuch Haus), a new ski museum in a rehabilitated historic building and a new Lift 1A coming 500 feet farther down the hill to Dean Street. Opposition focused on a lack of affordable housing — the project is responsible for housing around 30 percent of employees generated, as opposed to the standard 65 percent, thanks to city incentives for lodging. Opposition also called attention to mass and scale issues and a $4.36 million city contribution that will fund the ski museum and street improvements.

Tuesday’s election saw a record turnout of more than 3,200 voters, obliterating the prior record set in 2009 of 2,544. More than 1,100 of those votes came in on election day, either through live, in-person voting, ballots arriving in the mail or ballots being dropped off.

Curtis Wackerle is the editor of Aspen Daily News. He can be reached at curtis@aspendailynews.com or on Twitter @CurtisWackerle.

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