Election ballots should start showing up in Routt County mailboxes this week
Ballots can be turned in at 24/7 drop boxes in Steamboat and other locations around the county
More than 19,000 general election ballots are on their way to Routt County voters and should be arriving in mailboxes later this week.
Routt County Clerk and Recorder Jenny Thomas said voters should give it at least a week for their ballot to arrive. If voters opt to mail their ballot back, Thomas suggests sending it before Oct. 31 to ensure it arrives at the clerk’s office by Nov. 8.
“The last day to request a ballot through the mail is Oct. 31,” Thomas said. “After that day, it’s too late for us to mail you (a ballot), and we also don’t recommend mailing one back to us.”
Thomas said the ballots are being sent out from the central office in Denver, so residents could start seeing theirs arrive as soon as Tuesday, Oct. 18. If someone registered to vote after those ballots went out, the local clerk’s office will send out that ballot.
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.
A voter service and polling center will open on Monday, Oct. 24, in the clerk’s office, allowing residents to register to vote, update registration, cast their ballots or vote on a voting machine. This center will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Oct. 31, this polling center will move to the Routt County Annex Building behind the historic courthouse, where it will continue with the same hours. On Nov. 5, the center will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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.
Ballots need to be received by the clerk’s office before 7 p.m. on Election Day, regardless of when it was postmarked. Ballots received after that will not be counted.
Thomas said election judges would start the process of counting ballots next week. The process includes opening ballots received, verifying the signatures on them and then scanning the ballot. While counting will start next week, Thomas said they won’t know any totals until after polls close on Nov. 8.
Thomas told voters at Steamboat Pilot & Today’s Election Forum last week that her office will release at least three rounds of results on election night with the first coming shortly after polls close. Voters should expect another update around 9 p.m. and then a final update before those tallying votes head home.
“We won’t even know how it is totaling or anything until 7 p.m. on election night,” Thomas said. “But we’ll start processing everything starting next week, and it all just depends on voter turnout — so how many ballots we are getting back.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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