Check your voter registration and get your ballot in — Election Day is 2 weeks away
Register to vote in person at courthouse or by visiting govotecolorado.com
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With the election two weeks away, it’s time to double-check your voter registration, study up on the issues and get your ballot in.
Ballots are due by 7 p.m. Nov. 5, but the election is kicking into a higher gear for election judges and the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office this week as they begin to verify signatures, open ballots and start counting votes.
Steamboat voters will be deciding whether to implement multiple property taxes and choose four new school board representatives and one new City Council member. Three of the council races are uncontested.
Across the county, voters will decide on Proposition CC, which would allow the state to retain revenue for transportation and education it’s currently required to refund to residents under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, and Proposition DD, which would legalize sports betting in Colorado and use that tax revenue to fund water projects.
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Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kim Bonner said her office mailed about 17,500 ballots earlier this month. So far, the office has received about 1,000 ballots.
Registered voters should have received their ballots in the mail. If you haven’t, you can contact the County Clerk’s Office to check your voter registration and request a replacement ballot.
“People can register and vote up to and including Election Day, as long as they have 22 days of residency within the county,” Bonner said.
So, as long as you’ve lived in Routt County since Oct. 14, you can vote here.
Register to vote and check that your registration is up to date at govotecolorado.com.
Sample ballots and more information about the 2019 election are available online at steamboatpilot.com/election or co.routt.co.us/221/Elections. You can also contact the County Clerk’s office at 970-870-5558 or visit the courthouse at 522 Lincoln Ave. in Steamboat Springs.
Mail in your ballot or drop it off at the following locations:
• Routt County Courthouse alley, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
• Hayden Town Hall, 178 W. Jefferson Ave., Hayden (closes at noon on Friday)
• Oak Creek Town Hall, 129 Nancy Crawford Blvd., Oak Creek
• Clark Store, 54175 Routt County Road 129, Clark (final pick-up at 5 p.m. Nov. 5)
• Yampa Town Hall, 101 Main St., Yampa
If you’d prefer to vote in person, machine voting will be available at the Voter Service and Polling Center, which will open at the Historic Routt County Courthouse on Monday, Oct. 28.
State and local ballot information booklets have been sent to voters, but if you missed them, you can pick up another at the Clerk’s Office.
Two candidates will appear on the ballot, though they have withdrawn from the race — Mayling Simpson in the election for the two-year term in the Steamboat Springs School Board and David Gibbs from the Steamboat Springs City Council at-large race. Votes for those two candidates won’t be tallied, so voting for Simpson or Gibbs is a throwaway vote, Bonner said.
If you’re itching to know election results, voting now allows Bonner’s team to release results more quickly.
“We have more complete results at 7 o’clock when we initially do our first release of results on Election Night, and we’re able to get the results out sooner if people vote sooner rather than later,” Bonner said.
It also helps get election judges home sooner on Election Night, she added.
You should also avoid writing in the names of fictional characters or friends who haven’t filed their intention to run as a write-in candidate. If your candidate hasn’t done that, writing in another name requires the adjudication verify the write-in isn’t valid.
“People like to put in their friend’s name or Donald Duck or whatever, and it doesn’t count,” Bonner said. “We don’t keep track of validated write-ins, and it just slows down the process.”
Bonner said a list of candidates who have filed their intent to run as a write-in candidate will be available at co.routt.co.us/221/elections this week.
You can also make the process go more smoothly by avoiding using red, orange or yellow ink pens to mark your choices. Your ballot will still count, but the machine that scans ballots doesn’t read it meaning election judges have to pay special attention to red-inked ballots.
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