Routt County clerk expects close to 8K ballots to be cast in primary election |

Routt County clerk expects close to 8K ballots to be cast in primary election

Routt County resident Don Crane drops off his primary election ballot Monday in the official ballot box outside the Routt County Courthouse in downtown Steamboat Springs.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Tuesday is Primary Election Day in Routt County, and due to COVID-19 public health orders, voting in person will be handled differently this year.

The Routt County Clerk’s Office has set up an outdoor Voter Service and Polling Center located in the east parking lot of the historic Routt County Courthouse at 522 Lincoln Ave. Voters who did not mail in their ballot or drop it off at one of the county’s drop-off locations can vote in person at the outdoor site from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Routt County Clerk Kim Bonner said the only other difference COVID-19 has had on local elections is how her office is social distancing its election judges.

“We’re spreading them between rooms, and we have face masks and face shields, hand sanitizer, and we purchased an air purifier,” Bonner said.

“And it’s just been amazing,” Bonner added. “We have more election judges, not due to COVID-19, but just more interest in helping out with the election process.”

As of 4 p.m. Monday, the Clerk’s Office had received 5,971 ballots. Bonner said she expects to receive as many as 2,000 more ballots Tuesday.

“We received almost 1,000 today, and we usually double that number on Election Day,” she said.

Of those ballots received, 26 people returned both Republican and Democrat ballots, which nullifies their vote.

“I’d like to remind people they have to pick one ballot or the other or otherwise their vote doesn’t count,” Bonner said.

Ballots can still be dropped off at the Clark Store, Hayden Town Hall, Oak Creek Town Hall and Yampa Town Hall until 5 p.m. Tuesday. The 24-hour secure drop-off box located behind the courthouse in downtown Steamboat Springs is also available and will remain open until 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Ballots must be received by the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office no later than 7 p.m. Tuesday to be counted.

Voters will be deciding several important state and national races in the Republican and Democrat primaries.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton faces off against challenger Lauren Boebert for the 3rd Congressional District nomination on the Republican side. Voters will also be choosing between incumbent State Sen. Bob Rankin and challenger Debra Irvine for the Senate District 8 nomination.

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On the Democrat ballot, voters will decide between Diane Mitsch Bush and James Iacino for the 3rd Congressional District nomination and between Karl Hanlon and Arn Menconi for the Senate District 8 nod.

Democrats will also be deciding between former Gov. John Hickenlooper and former State Rep. Andrew Romanoff for the nomination for U.S. Senate. The winner of that race will face Republican incumbent Cory Gardner in November.

State Rep. Dylan Roberts is running unopposed on the Democrat ballot along with State Board of Education candidate Mayling Simpson, District 1 Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan and District 2 County Commissioner candidate Tim Redmond.

On the Republican ballot, Joyce Rankin is running unopposed for the State Board of Education.

District 2 County Commissioner Doug Monger and 14th Judicial District Attorney Matt Karzen are running as independents.

According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, 3,980,938 primary ballots had been returned as of Monday. Of those, 1,187,859 were Democratic ballots and 1,094,251 were Republican ballots.

Bonner said she expects to have the first wave of results ready to announce shortly after polls close and all ballots counted by 9 or 10 p.m. Tuesday.

To reach Lisa Schlichtman, call 970-871-4221, email or follow her on Twitter @lschlichtman.

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