Broomfield, Colorado’s fracking ban isn’t assured victory, but the latest count is in its favor. While an election night tally had it losing by 13 votes, outstanding military and overseas ballots have flipped the outcome, with 17 votes in favor of the ban as of Thursday night.
But that slim margin will trigger a recount, since Colorado law requires one if the margin of victory is within half a percent of the total number of votes cast on the winning side. With the latest count at 10,350 in favor of the ban and 10,333 against, a margin of fewer than 51 votes would be enough to trigger a recount. The recount could begin as early as Monday, said Michael Susek, Broomfield’s elections administrator.
Broomfield typically counts its provisional and overseas ballots much more quickly, but with watchers from both sides of the initiative joining in, it was a much longer process.
Three other Colorado towns, Fort Collins, Boulder, and Lafayette, passed similar measures on November 5th that would either ban or put a moratorium on fracking for five years. Broomfield’s measure would put a five-year ban on fracking if it passes.
Fossil fuels lost several other big elections in the West. In the Whatcom County Council election in Washington state, a slate of four progressive candidates thought to be opposed to a major coal export terminal won their elections handily, and will play a major role in deciding the fate of the terminal on the seven-member council. And in Boulder, voters rejected a measure that would have made it harder to replace the current Xcel energy utility with their own clean-energy-based municipal utility.