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La Plata Electric Association resending 700 ballots

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018 2:32 PM
La Plata Electric Association is resending 700 ballots after 950 were returned. LPEA is not sure why a high number of ballots were returned this year.

La Plata Electric Association is mailing out about 700 ballots for a second time after about 950 ballots were recently returned.

The co-op verified the addresses for the 700 ballots and remailed them on April 27, LPEA spokeswoman Indiana Reed said. It could not verify addresses for the other 250 ballots, likely because those customers have moved. The co-op spent $500 to resend the 700 ballots.

LPEA is not sure why so many ballots were returned. But when more ballots than usual came back, the staff was directed by its election supervisory committee to notify customers of the returns, said Ron Meier, manager of engineering and member relations.

"It's a number we're not used to seeing," he said.

LPEA originally mailed 33,205 election packets on April 17.

"We are working with the post office to discover the reason for the returns," Meier said. "The returns are relatively consistent among all four districts - 209 in District 1; 135 in District 2; 124 in District 3; and 238 in District 4."

LPEA typically has about a 20 percent turnout rate, Reed said.

Members who have not received their election materials can contact LPEA for a duplicate ballot. Ballots must be received at the La Plata County Clerk's Office, or returned to one of the La Plata County Clerk's secure voting boxes by 4 p.m. May 11. LPEA members can also vote in person at the co-op's annual meeting May 12 at the Sky Ute Casino Resort Event Center. All ballots must be cast by 10:30 a.m. May 12. Duplicate ballots will be voided.

Mike Dreyspring, the co-op's CEO, said he is happy to answer questions from members about the election. Contact Dreyspring at 382-3509 or mdreyspring@lpea.coop.

mshinn@durangoherald.com

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