- Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

MONTEZUMA, Colo. (AP) - Questions about a local government election have turned into a mountain of a political dispute in Montezuma, which has just 65 residents.

The Denver Post reported Friday (https://tinyurl.com/n3k54te ) on allegations that 13 of the 51 voters and two of the candidates weren’t eligible for the April 1 election because they aren’t full-time Montezuma residents. The matter has been turned over to the district attorney to determine whether any voters committed perjury or violated the law.

The new mayor and six town board members took office this week. Mayor Lesley Davis edged her neighbor from across the street by three votes. Davis said if she retains her seat following the investigation, she plans improvements such as parking and street signs in a town that now has a single stop sign, about 30 homes and four cottage industries.

From the start, new town Clerk Helen Moorman, who also has a full-time job as an elementary school kitchen manager, had her hands more than full. She wasn’t given the statutorily required 60 days to start the election process. And she didn’t know what to do with more than 100 signatures on candidate petitions when there are only 57 registered voters in the town and no voter is supposed to sign more than one petition.

But the election went forward, in the 300-square-foot log cabin that serves as the town hall. Some residents had learned that second-home owners were planning to vote, and notified them their votes would be challenged and they would have to sign affidavits swearing that they reside in Montezuma.

Davis describes those who own second homes in town as “the people who live up in the trees that we never see.” She said she thinks concern over possible property-tax increases drove more of the second-home owners to vote than usual.

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Information from: The Denver Post, https://www.denverpost.com

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