Voter turnout lower than expectedBy Francisco Barrios
City of Douglas Clerk Brenda Aguilar received official results for the consolidated election to choose the new Douglas’ Mayor, as well as City Council members for Ward 1, Ward 3 and Ward 5 on Wednesday, March 14.
Aguilar said in Douglas there are a total of 6,919 registered voters, but after counting all the votes from the six precincts in the area only 1,506 actually voted, which represents 21.77 percent of the registered voters. To vote, the City of Douglas and Cochise County offered two ways to do so, early voting by mail and voting at available polling places in all six wards.
Aguilar mentioned that possible causes for the low turnout in the past election held on Tuesday, March 13 could be due to work reasons that did not allow going out to polling places and the inadvertence of the early ballot in the case of early voting by mail.
She also noticed that from the total of ballots’ cast 1,020 of the votes came from early voting by mail, while 486 votes were delivered at the polls.
All the candidates that participated in the election expressed their gratitude to the people of Douglas and Cochise County that showed their support by voting.
Incumbent Councilmember Ben LaForge said that this victory is not for him but to all the people that trusted him towards this quest.
“My many supporters and my lifeline made my career as a public servant what it is, a successful one,” LaForge said. “Our hard work paid off. I look forward to having regular public forums and one major forum that would include all the council and all of the City of Douglas at City Hall and hopefully that would be held bi-annually; this is something I think it would encourage more input from the public.”
Newly elected Council member for Ward 5 Luis Greer said he feels deeply honored with the confidence my constituents have shown in electing him for Ward 5.
“I will strive and work hard for you and for the community of Douglas,” he said. “I will work together with the newly elected Mayor and Council members to move Douglas to a bright and better future.”
Official results for Mayor and Wards 1, 3 and 5:
Mayor of Douglas
Danny “dj” Morales, 386 votes (25.73%)
Danny Ortega Jr., 1,112 votes (74.13%)
Write-in, 2 votes (0.13%)
City Council Ward 1
Margaret Morales, 156 votes (95.71%)
Write-in, 7 votes (4.29%)
City Council Ward 3
Lynn Kartchner, 174 votes (48.88%)
Benjamin “Ben” LaForge, 180 (50.56%)
City Council Ward 5
Lourdes “Lou” Estrada, 111 votes (47.84%)
Luis Greer, 121 votes (52.16%)