The Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District Ballot Question 5A that appears on the ballots for 13 precincts in Wheat Ridge is invalid but valid in Edgewater precincts.
The ballot measure would combine the Edgewater Fire Department with the WRFPD. This would mean the Wheat Ridge district would also respond to fire calls in the city of Edgewater, and would open a third Wheat Ridge station in the current Edgewater station at 25th Avenue and Gray Street.
Ballot questions dealing with issues of inclusion are asked of the voters outside the district. In this case it would be voters outside of the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District who would need to vote, which leaves the decision up to voters in Edgewater.
Ballots are created and sent out from the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office.
“This was a distinction we missed during ballot layout,” said Josh Liss, deputy of elections in Jefferson County.
Notices went out to residents and voters in Wheat Ridge explaining the mistake.
Liss said the mistake will not effect the outcome of the vote. If Wheat Ridge residents do vote on Ballot Question 5A their votes will not be counted. The election results reporting system in Jefferson County has been set up to disregard votes cast for or against the question received from any of the 13 affected precincts.
Wheat Ridge Fire Chief Steven Gillespie said he believes the measure would be beneficial for both cities.
“It’s a good thing for everyone involved,” Gillespie said. “It would provide a level of service that is currently not offered.”
He explained as of now the Edgewater station is not guaranteed to respond to calls, and if the WRFPD inhabited the station the response times in the Southeast section of the district would decrease substantially.
For more information about the ballot error please visit www.jeffco.us/elections.