Mail-in ballots on the way |

Mail-in ballots on the way

Final voter registration tally for Nov. 4 election pending

Melinda Dudley

Carol Smith urges voters to register across the street from the downtown post office Monday morning. Megan Moore-Kemp, who was with her infant son Mason, took a few minutes to sit down with volunteer Paul Hands and fill out the paperwork. Monday was the last day to register.

Voter registration for the upcoming general election drew to a close Monday with more than 500 people submitting registration and change of address forms on the deadline.

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland estimated there were more than 16,000 registered voters in Routt County as of late last week. Final tallies for the Nov. 4 election will not be available until all voter registration applications are processed, and the Election Office still has about 1,500 to go, Deputy Clerk Kim Bonner said Tuesday.

“It’s been really busy in here, to say the least,” Bonner said.

The Elections Office helped more than 100 walk-ins on Monday and received more than 450 applications from local registration drives, she said. Mailed registration forms may continue to arrive, as anything postmarked by Monday will be accepted.

For the 2006 general election, there were 15,420 registered voters in Routt County – nearly 13,500 are considered active voters, Bonner said.

The U.S. Census Bureau listed Routt County’s population at just more than 21,500 in 2006. That number likely is larger now – in addition to documented growth, city planners contested the U.S. Census data in July when they said 2007 figures underestimated Steamboat Springs’ population by about 2,000 residents.

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Voter registrations are not canceled in Colorado unless a voter misses two consecutive presidential elections, or Routt County is notified that a person has registered elsewhere, Bonner said. Hence, voter rolls in Routt County have not been systematically purged since after the 2004 presidential election.

Only a very small percentage of Routt County voters have had their registrations canceled, Bonner said.

Sample ballots are available online at, at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office in the Routt County Courthouse, and in the county Elections Office at 624 Lincoln Ave., behind Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Roughly one-third of active voters have requested mail-in ballots for the upcoming election. County staff worked through the weekend to prepare the first 4,500 ballots for mailing, and the first batch went to the post office Monday, Bonner said.

Registered voters can request that a ballot be mailed to them through Oct. 28, and they can pick up a mail-in ballot in person as late as Oct. 31.

Mail-in ballots also can be dropped off at sites across the county, including town halls in Hayden, Oak Creek and Yampa, the Clark Store in North Routt and the Clerk and Recorder’s Office in Steamboat.

Voters who failed to update their registration information by Monday’s deadline will be required to cast a provisional ballot, as will voters who requested a mail-in ballot but decide to vote at the polls. Provisional ballots are given to voters of uncertain identification, and are verified and counted after regular and absentee ballots.

– To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail

Early voting

For the general election, early voting will take place from Oct. 20 to 31 in Steamboat Springs and Oct. 25 in Hayden and Oak Creek.

Routt County Courthouse Annex,

136 Sixth St., Steamboat Springs

Oct. 20 to 24, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 25, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 27 to 31, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hayden Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall,

398 S. Poplar St., Hayden

Oct. 25, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Oak Creek Town Hall, 129 Nancy Crawford Blvd., Oak Creek

Oct. 25, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.