Elections official hopes sign will leave ‘U’ wondering
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — If the bright yellow “U” planted in the middle of the courthouse lawn in downtown Steamboat Springs left you with questions then the staff at the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office succeeded in getting their point across.
Routt County Clerk Kim Bonner said the 8-foot-tall “U” is part of a campaign initiated by Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams last month to help inform unaffiliated voters about election changes. For the first time, those voters will be able to take part in the June primaries.
“It’s just a symbol for the promotional campaign that the Secretary of State’s Office started to inform voters — unaffiliated voters — that they will be getting two ballots in the mail, but they can only vote one,” Bonner said. “We thought it would be a novelty.”
She said the idea behind the giant “U” is to get voters to come into the office and ask questions about changes in the Colorado election laws. Her office will also be adding a yard sign in the next few days where people who pass by can pick up an informational flyer explaining the process and the new rules.
Bonner said it’s important for voters to understand that they must choose to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary, and that voting in that primary will not affect their unaffiliated status. She’s also hoping those voters who already know which primary they will vote in will choose a preference.
“If people know which ballot they want to vote, then it makes sense for them to select their preference,” Bonner said. “Selecting a preference will not affiliate the voter with either party but will reduce the number of ballots that have to be printed and then mailed out.”
In June, if voters have not selected a preference, they will receive both the Republican and Democratic ballots in the mail and then they will have to select one to fill out. Unaffiliated voters who turn in ballots in both primaries will be disqualified.
Bonner said it would be more cost effective if voters stopped by her office or went online to uchoose.com to select their preference by the May 29 deadline. Mail-in ballots will begin arriving in June with the polls closing at 7 p.m. June 26.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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