Hundreds of Colorado voters turning in ballots for both parties, nullifying votes |

Hundreds of Colorado voters turning in ballots for both parties, nullifying votes

The big yellow U on the Routt County Courthouse lawn is a reminder for unaffiliated voters to return only one primary ballot.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Hundreds of unaffiliated voters’ ballots for this year’s primary elections in Colorado won’t be counted.

That’s because those voters failed to follow rules for the first Colorado primaries opened to the unaffiliated bloc, specifically a rule mandating unaffiliated voters can only send back a Republican or Democratic primary ballot — not both.

Here in Routt County, voters are better at following directions: Only one voter, or less than one-100th of a percent, has returned both primary ballots, according to Clerk & Recorder Kim Bonner.

That compares with 3.4 percent of returned Denver ballots that included votes in both primaries, according to the Denver Post.

Unaffiliated voters in Colorado will receive a Democratic and Republican primary ballot but can return only one for their votes to count.

Colorado elections officials have been working for weeks to get the word out about rules for unaffiliated voters.

“Maybe that big U on the courthouse lawn had some effect,” Bonner said.

As of Monday morning, 1,203 Routt County ballots, or 7.3 percent, had been returned, Bonner said. Ballots were mailed to 16,565 registered voters.

“Of all the ballots we’ve received, unaffiliated accounts for 20 percent, or one-fifth, so they are responding,” Bonner said.

Those who would like to vote in person can stop by the Routt County Courthouse annex from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The last day to vote is June 26, when voting is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Denver Post contributed to this report. 

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