The sudden death of a Denver city councilwoman who was running unopposed for the District 8 seat has changed the upcoming election.
Eleven people have now filed affidavits to run as write-in candidates and at least three more are expected to do so, making the District 8 race one of the more hotly contested.
Incumbent Carla Madison was seeking a second term when she died from cancer last week.
Madisons husband, Paul Weiss, told 7NEWS that hell announce on Tuesday whether he plans to run for her seat.
A friend of Weiss told the station that Weiss was in the race.
The sheer number of people running as write-in candidates raises questions about whether three weeks is enough time to vet all the candidates.
I think its unfortunate that this district will decide its next leader in such a short amount of time, Weiss said.
Weiss said hed rather that a special election be called.
My personal feeling is that the district has been thrown into confusion, he said. Its like a gunfight at the OK Corral. Basically, its going to be a popularity contest.
Weiss said his late wife excelled at being accessible to the neighborhood.
She was very strong on the balance between preservation and development, Weiss said. She was great at getting people with diametrically opposed views to sit at a table and talk about why they believed what they believed. Most of the time she got them to reach a consensus.
Weiss said whoever wins the District 8 race should have the same qualifications.
Denver Election Division Spokesman Alton Dillard said those running as write-in candidates must first sign an affidavit confirming that they are at least 18, have lived in the city for two years and in District 8 for one year.
Thats what keeps down what we call the Donald Duck factor, Dillard said. Write-in candidates have until Monday, April 18, to fill out a notarized affidavit.
So far, 11 individuals have filled out an affidavit.
Paul Noel Fiorino
Thomas Henry Juniel
Owetta R. McNeil
When asked if a write-in race poses any difficulties, Dillard said the write-in portion of the ballots have to be counted by hand.
When asked if voters have to be precise in their spelling of the write-in candidates name, Dillard said, It has to be close.
If somebody spelled Lance Hernandez with an s at the end instead of a z, we would still know the voters intent was to vote for you and that vote would be counted," Dillard said.
Dillard said the Secretary of State's Office will be on hand election night if questions are raised about a voters intent.
The Denver municipal election is on May 3 this year.
Dillard said its a mail-in ballot election and that all ballots have to be in house at election headquarters or at one of 12 other full-service Voter Service Centers by 7 p.m. election day.
At a service center, voters can drop off their ballot, obtain a replacement for a lost or spoiled ballot, complete an emergency registration affidavit or request a ballot if they have not received one.
Here are the Service Center Locations:
Barnum Recreation Center, 360 Hooker St.
Blair-Caldwell Library, 2401 Welston St.
Christ Curch United Methodist, 690 Colorado Blvd.
Christ Community Church, 8085 E. Hampden Ave.
Denver Elections Division, 200 W. 14th Ave.
Harvard Gulch Recreation Center, 550 E. Iliff Ave.
Harvey Park Recreation Center, 2120 S. Tennyson Way
Hiawatha Davis Jr. Recreation Center, 3334 Holly St.
Montbello Recreation Center, 15555 E. 53rd Ave.
Montclair Recreation Center, 729 Ulster Way
Scheitler Recreation Center, 5031 W. 46th Ave.
Tivoli Student Union at Auraria, 900 Auraria Pkway, Room 261
Washington Park Recreation Center, 701 S. Franklin St.
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