Elections

Rules & Procedures

The City of Durango conducts its elections pursuant to the Home Rule Charter of the City of Durango (Article VI) and the Colorado Municipal Election Code.

  • The City conducts regular, biennial elections to elect City Council members on the first Tuesday in April of odd-numbered years.
  • All City Councilor members must be registered electors of the City of Durango and are elected on an at-large basis; that is, they are elected by all registered electors of the city rather than by a specific district or ward within the city.
  • Terms of office are staggered. Two council members are elected at one election, and three council members are elected the next election year.
  • The top vote-getting candidates serve four-year terms. The terms of office commence on the third Tuesday of April after the election.

View past election information

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.

Election Costs

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.

Resources