Primary ballots total only 1,687 by mid-afternoon June 27 | SteamboatToday.com
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Primary ballots total only 1,687 by mid-afternoon June 27

When you go to vote

Ballots may be dropped off at the sites during regular business hours through Election Day, June 28. There is a ballot drop box in the alley behind the Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., which is open 24 hours.

Other locations include: Clark Store, 54175 Routt County Road 129, Clark; Hayden Town Hall, 178 W. Jefferson Ave.; Oak Creek Town Hall, 129 Nancy Crawford Blvd. and Yampa Town Hall, 56 Lincoln St.

Unaffiliated voters are still able to participate by affiliating with one of the two major parties any time before and through election day at the Routt County Clerk’s Office, 522 Lincoln Ave.







— Primary election day has arrived in Colorado, and while there’s still time to drop off ballots at one of five locations across the county, early returns for the all-mail ballot in Routt County were not on pace with 2012, the last year there was a local primary in a presidential election year.

County Clerk Kim Bonner confirmed at 2:30 p.m. Monday that 1,687 ballots had been received (21 others had been rejected). That compares to the final number of 2,720 ballots cast among four parties in 2012.

“I can’t imagine we’ll get 1,000 more votes in the next day,” Bonner said.



When you go to vote

Ballots may be dropped off at the sites during regular business hours through Election Day, June 28. There is a ballot drop box in the alley behind the Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., which is open 24 hours.

Other locations include: Clark Store, 54175 Routt County Road 129, Clark; Hayden Town Hall, 178 W. Jefferson Ave.; Oak Creek Town Hall, 129 Nancy Crawford Blvd. and Yampa Town Hall, 56 Lincoln St.



Unaffiliated voters are still able to participate by affiliating with one of the two major parties any time before and through election day at the Routt County Clerk’s Office, 522 Lincoln Ave.

She hopes the ballots will have been tallied by about 7:15 p.m. on Election Day.

Local Republican and Democratic party officials have acknolwedged that some of their members were disappointed this year that Colorado sat out the presidential primary races, with state Republican leaders even opting out of a less formal preference poll.

Bonner said she’s also heard county clerks across the state express the wish that local races be combined with national races at an earlier date, perhaps in May.

“I’d like to see it that way,” Bonner said. “I think that’s the best way to do it.”

If it proves out that voter turnout this election cycle is lower than in the last local primary in a presidential year, it’s easy to point out the three-way race among Republicans in 2012 for their party’s nomination to run for District 1 county commissioner as the difference maker. Jim “Moose” Barrows prevailed in that race by about 200 votes over Brita Horn, now the county treasurer, and Tony Stich, who ran a distant third.

Barrows ultimately lost in the general election to Tim Corrigan, but that spirited campaign did much to liven up the primary. Among 8,977 eligible voters in all parties in 2012 (7,914 active voters), 1,673 cast ballots in the Republican county commissioner race. Corrigan, destined to win the general election, garnered 776 votes in the primary.

Overall, 1,796 Republicans cast ballots in the 2012 primary compared to 915 Democrats, illustrating that primaries without contested races attract less interest.

Statewide, the most-watched race in Colorado could be the five-way Republican free-for-all for the nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Michael Bennet among Robert Blaha, Ryan Frazier, Darryl Glenn, Jack Graham and Jon Keyser.

The Denver Post characterized the evolution of that contest as a “litmus test” on where those candidates stood with regard to presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Routt County Democrats don’t have any contested races to vote in this year although they can show their support for Corrigan in the general election, as well as U.S. Senator Michael Bennet in his bid for re-election.

For the Democrats in 2016, there is the chance to look ahead to former state senator Gail Schwartz’s challenge of the winner between U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, and Republican challenger Alex Beinstein, of Carbondale, in the general election for the Third Congressional District.

At the Colorado statehouse level, Democratic incumbent Diane Mitsch Bush is up for re-election and unchallenged within her party. She’ll presumably face Michael Cacioppo, of Avon, in the general election. Democratic challenger Emily Tracy is unopposed in her primary bid to challenge State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, in the November election.

For Republicans, there is also a contested primary between two candidates for the state board of education between appointed incumbent Joyce Rankin and Anita Stapleton.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1


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