Rules & Procedures
Types of Elections
- Special Elections, or "Standalone" elections, are typically held in April of odd-numbered years to elect councilors or at any time called by an initiative or referendum.
- General Elections are held in November of every year.
There's no getting around it: Elections cost money. Voting machines are rented. Ballots must be printed. Informational booklets are produced. People are paid to ensure the ballots are counted correctly. Attorneys are consulted to ensure compliance with various laws. Advertisements are taken out. City staff spends hours and hours making sure everything runs as smooth as possible.
The key cost in all elections is whether a ballot information book, known as a “Blue Book” is required. Each booklet can cost $3.20 to produce and mail, depending on the cost of paper (which is currently in short supply). Durango has approximately 13,100 voters as of August 2022; at $3.20 per booklet this equates to $41,920. When additional costs are included, an election can easily cost $45,000 or more, so the city budgets $55,000 for each election to cover any contingencies.