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Election: Family matters 

The Bahrs are adding to their sizable gang.

Brian Bahr's campaign announced this week that the 39-year-old mayoral candidate will be going to China until mid-April so he and his wife can adopt two girls, ages 5 and 9. The Bahrs started the adoption process in 2009, and their arduous ordeal has finally ended — unexpectedly — in the home stretch of the municipal election campaign.

"I consider traveling to China to pick up our daughters and to finalize the adoption as the most important thing I could be doing right now, regardless of whether there are political consequences," Bahr stated in a press release.

If Bahr qualifies for a runoff in the April 5 election, he still will have time after he returns from China for a campaign blitz before mail ballots go out for May 17. Bahr is considered one of the top three or four contenders in the election, and has spent $233,000 so far on a largely-self-funded campaign.

The Bahrs already have five living children, as well as a son who passed away at birth.

Get your vote on

As of Wednesday morning, 36,450 ballots, or 24.1 percent of the 151,203 mailed ballots, had been returned. That's a long way from estimates of at least 80,000 votes for this election.

So if you haven't yet voted, it's time to get crackin'. Ballots must be received by the City Clerk's Office by 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 5. Otherwise...

If you're an inactive, registered voter: Go in person to the city clerk's office, 30 S. Nevada Ave., #101, to update your status and vote. If you have had a change of address or name since you last voted, update your information at an El Paso County Election Office before you vote. (Office locations are listed on the county's website.) After updating your information, go to the city clerk's office to get your ballot.

If you're an active registered voter and haven't received your mail ballot: Visit the City Clerk's Office or call 385-5901.

If you want to drop off your ballot: Go to the city clerk's office; Colorado Springs Senior Center, 1514 N. Hancock Ave.; Fire Station #8, 3737 Airport Road; Fire Station #17, 3750 Tutt Blvd.; Fire Station #19, 2490 Research Pkwy.; Fire Station #20, 6755 Rangewood Drive; or Gold Hill Police Substation, 955 W. Moreno Ave. All locations are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Monday. On Tuesday, April 5 (Election Day), locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ethics Watch news

City Attorney Patricia Kelly has given Douglas Bruce and his "Reform Team" of at-large Council candidates until Friday, April 1, to correct their campaign filings.

The city took action after Colorado Ethics Watch filed a complaint with the city alleging that the team's financial filings were being funneled through an illegal political committee. Bruce has said the committee, and its reports, are legal.

The city originally forwarded the complaint to the secretary of state's office, believing the matter should be settled by an administrative judge. However, the judge dismissed the case, stating it had no jurisdiction, and directed the city to prosecute the complaint itself.

Kelly has said that she wants to give all candidates the opportunity to fix problems with their filings before the city takes any legal action. Besides Bruce, the Reform Team includes Ed Bircham, Richard Bruce, Helen Collins and Gretchen Kasameyer.

stanley@csindy.com

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