Our View: Vote today
Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” and voting is a fundamental way to make sure our voices are heard, especially amidst the din of divisive political rhetoric.
American democracy is rooted in the right to vote. In fact, no other right is mentioned more in the Constitution — five times, the phrase, “the right to vote” appears in that founding document.
And so, it’s with those more lofty principles in mind that we urge Routt County residents to exercise their right to vote in this fall’s mid-term elections.
At issue: Election Day is less than a week away and only 30 percent of Routt County voters have participated in early voting.
Our View: This year’s ballot is a lengthy one and requires voters do their homework, so we urge local residents to get educated and get busy filling out their ballots as soon as possible.
• Logan Molen, publisher
• Lisa Schlichtman, editor
• Mike Burns, community representative
• Melissa Hampton, community representative
Contact the Editorial Board at 970-871-4221 or lschlichtman@
Local voters are faced with a multi-page ballot that includes 13 statewide issues and 13 local issues spread throughout the county as well as local, state and federal candidate races. A ballot of this size cannot be completed quickly, and it requires voters to educate themselves in advance about the candidates and issues.
This process takes time, and voters should not wait until the last minute to fill out their ballots. To help voters make educated voting decisions, the Steamboat Pilot & Today has compiled information about each issue and each candidate in one place on our 2018 Election Page, which can be found at SteamboatPilot.com/election. This information has also been published in the newspaper over the past few weeks along with candidate guest opinion columns, letters to the editor and editorials offering our positions on local and state ballot measures.
With the election less than a week away, we urge voters to stop procrastinating and get their ballots filled out and turned in as soon as possible.
On Monday, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office sent out a news release urging voters to drop off their ballots at a 24-hour drop-off box or voting center rather than mailing them. The office reminded voters that postmarks on ballots don’t count, and ballots must be in the hands of an election official by 7 p.m on Election Day, Nov. 6, to be counted.
In Routt County, there is a 24-hour drop box located in the alley behind the historic courthouse in downtown Steamboat Springs. In addition, ballots can be dropped off at the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, the Clark Store, Hayden Town Hall, Oak Creek Town Hall and Yampa Town Hall during regular business hours. It should be noted that the Hayden Town Hall closes at noon on Fridays.
As of Monday evening, 4,832 ballots had been received, which represents almost 30 percent of the 16,588 ballots that were mailed to Routt County voters. Routt County Clerk Kim Bonner said she is pleased with the early voting numbers, but she cautions local residents that if too many ballots come in Monday and on Election Day, her office may not be able to process them all on Election Night due to the size of the ballot, which would mean resuming the count the following day.
So with that information in mind, we urge county voters to get their ballots dropped off this week to ensure that Election Day goes smoothly, we get final election results that night, and most importantly, that voices are heard.
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