Health service district to hold drive-through election Tuesday


By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

Tuesday’s polling place election for the Upper San Juan Health Service District, which oversees Pagosa Springs Medical Center, will be a drive-through election in the medical center’s parking lot at 95 S. Pagosa Blvd.

The district’s designated election official, Heather Thomas, informed the board of the change at Tuesday evening’s board meeting and noted the drive-through election is taking a cue from Bayfield’s recent election.

“So we had, as you know, previously selected the board room as the polling place, and to keep in line with all of the regulations that we internally have for screening of everybody who comes into Pagosa Springs Medical Center, we thought it would be best to follow along the lines with the town of Bayfield doing a drive-through election instead,” she told the board, adding later, “That’ll help keep people from feeling like they would be endangered coming in here and help us stay safer as well.”

Thomas explained the drive-through path will be the same path used for the recent COVID-19 drive-through testing event, and there will be three stations on the route.

Electors will sign their affidavit at the first station, will receive their ballot at the second and will hand in the ballot at the final station.

Those returning absentee ballots (the last day to request an absentee ballot was Tuesday, April 28) can do so at the first station and bypass the remainder of the line, Thomas reported Wednesday.

Anyone going to vote or return a ballot is asked to wear a mask.

The election will determine which three of the five candidates will be elected to three-year terms on the board.

The candidates are: Kathryn Alfred (incumbent), Robert W. Brobst, Mark H. Ziegler, James C. Pruitt (incumbent) and Matthew A. Mees (incumbent).

Registered electors who fall within the district’s boundaries, which encompass parts of Archuleta, Hinsdale and Mineral counties, will be eligible to vote in the election, which is slated to take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 5 in the medical center’s parking lot, 95 S. Pagosa Blvd.

All ballots, whether voted in person or absentee, must be returned by 7 p.m. on May 5 to be counted.

You can register to vote at up to and including election day to receive a ballot.