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Closing in on election deadline

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If you haven't voted yet in the Nov. 6 election, there's still time.

Of the 208,238 ballots that the El Paso County Election Department mailed for the election, a total of 37,002 (or 17.8 percent) had been returned as of midday Tuesday, a week before the deadline.

The election department could not immediately provide a breakdown of votes for specific school districts, but a spokesperson did say that 750 people had voted in the Manitou Springs city election (mayor and City Council) as of Oct. 26.

Mail your ballot, following the provided instructions, or drop it off at an El Paso County Clerk and Recorder office at 200 S. Cascade Ave., 5650 Industrial Place or at Chapel Hills Mall, on the north side of JCPenney.

All ballots are due by Nov. 6, and drop-offs will be accepted until 7 p.m. that day.

Earlier, the Independent provided endorsements for the following races:

District 11 board (four positions): Chyrese Exline, Jan Tanner, Tom Strand, Bob Null.

Exline, though she hasn't served before, stands out for a combination of reasons, including her energy, years of volunteer work with the district, and many fresh, progressive ideas. She'd like to see evaluation of all kindergarten students and expanded outreach programs that encourage more parental involvement, even in high schools.

Tanner earns our endorsement for her board performance over the past year, her experience with D-11 finances as the board's volunteer treasurer prior to that, and her straightforward, no-nonsense manner.

Strand makes a positive impression for having visited every D-11 facility during his first nine months on the board. He also brings legal expertise and deep knowledge from his involvement with the D-11 bond oversight committee.

Null, a familiar name due to his service on city and county government committees, as well as past campaigns for other offices, has a variety of different ideas and is clear in his opposition to focusing too much on CSAP.

Manitou Springs: Mayor, Eric Drummond; Council (three positions), Marc Snyder, Aimee Cox, Ed Klingman.

Drummond, an attorney who moved to Manitou four years ago, had been involved with heading the town's Economic Development Council before being appointed to City Council early this year. He and opponent Donna Ford, a fellow councilor, both care deeply about Manitou and its future, but Drummond's skills dealing with other municipalities in his legal career also stand out. He also wants to expand the tourism season as much as possible.

Snyder, the only incumbent councilmember on the Manitou ballot, has clearly proven himself over his first term with his dedication, openness and knowledge of all issues. He knows as well as anyone the need to address the aging infrastructure.

Cox, established as a successful grant-writer who already has helped acquire money for Manitou parks, brings a refreshingly positive attitude in her desire to serve. She also wants citizens to be heavily involved with decisions on improving the town's east end.

Klingman, a business owner and former president of the town's Business Improvement District, wants to make sure Manitou pays attention to the issues of infrastructure and sustainability.

routon@csindy.com

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