A quarter of Routt County’s ballots are in ahead of Nov. 8 midterm elections | SteamboatToday.com

A quarter of Routt County’s ballots are in ahead of Nov. 8 midterm elections

Election officials say it's now too late to mail ballot back and know it will get there by 7 p.m. on election night

Steamboat Springs resident Emma Newberger drops off her June primary election ballot at the 24-hour drop box in the alley behind the historic Routt County Courthouse on Monday, June 27, 2022. Ballots for the Nov. 8 midterm elections can be dropped off here or at other drop boxes located around Routt County.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Jenny Thomas advises residents who have yet to drop off their ballot to take it to one of several locations around the county before 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8.

There isn’t any official deadline to get a ballot in the mail, but Oct. 31 is the last day the clerk’s office can send out a ballot if requested. Since Steamboat’s mail is sent to Denver and then back, it can take more than a week for mail to get to the clerks’ office.

“People are free to do whatever they want, but I wouldn’t recommend mailing it after (Monday),” Thomas said. “Postmarks do not count, so we have to receive it no later than 7 p.m. on Nov. 8.”

The clerk’s office has received a total of 4,752 ballots so far, with 1,230 of those ballots being dropped off over the weekend. Out of the roughly 19,000 ballots sent to voters last month, about a quarter of the county’s ballots have been cast.

Thomas said that seemed like a decent rate of return, with Friday, Oct. 28, being one of the biggest drop-off days so far with about 700 ballots submitted.

The county’s polling center in the Routt County Annex building behind the historic courthouse opened on Monday, and will remain open in that location until Election Day to offer a variety of election-related services.

“You can vote on a machine, update voter registration, you can register to vote as long as you have 22 days residency, obtain a replacement ballot — all of the things,” Thomas said.

Ballots can be returned to several locations around Routt County, including two 24-hour drop boxes. One of those drop boxes is in the alley behind the historic Routt County Courthouse in downtown Steamboat, and the other is in the parking lot of the Combined Law Enforcement Facility on Steamboat’s west side.

The town halls of Yampa, Oak Creek and Hayden are also ballot drop-off locations, though they are not available 24 hours. The town halls will accept ballots through Election Day during regular business hours. The clerk’s website notes that Hayden and Oak Creek town halls close at noon on Fridays.

Ballots can also be dropped off at the Clark Store in Clark, which is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week.

On Election Day, Nov. 8, voters will be able to cast votes at the Routt County Annex, Hayden Town Hall or Oak Creek Town Hall from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Each of these locations will have Americans with Disabilities Act accessible voting machines.

All of these locations, including the drop boxes, will accept ballots on Election Day until 7 p.m.

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