Midterm election sees highest Routt County voter participation in 20 years | SteamboatToday.com

Midterm election sees highest Routt County voter participation in 20 years

Brittany Dick reviews her choices as she waits to vote at the Routt County Courthouse annex during Tuesday’s election. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County voters turned out in greater numbers for this year’s midterm election.

A greater proportion of active voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s election than in any midterm election since 1998.

“If we’re going to go to all the work of putting on an election, we might as well have a huge turnout,” Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kim Bonner said. “That’s always our goal, is to get the vote out. That’s why we attempt to do a lot of advertising and have a lot of signs out and be open as often as we can to the public, so that we’re accessible.”

More voters also turned out for early voting this year.

By about the midpoint of the mail ballot election, about 15 percent of Routt County’s active voters cast ballots, compared to 9 percent in 2014.

Bonner was unsure what caused the increase in turnout for early voting, but some of her guesses included the length of the ballot, an outreach push from the Clerk’s Office or the current political climate.

In Routt County, 87 percent of active Democrat voters and 81 percent of Republican voters cast ballots in the midterm election. Seventy-four percent of active unaffiliated voters and 74 percent of active third-party voters participated.

In the final days of the election, 509 voters registered to vote or reactivated their voter registration. The county’s 17,156 active voters on Nov. 1 grew to 17,665 voters by Election Day.

Bonner said Tuesday’s election was a smooth one.

“No major fires or anything,” she said.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.

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