Routt County voters should get primary ballots by end of week

Ballots should be mailed back by June 21 to ensure they are received in time to count in the June 28 primary

Voters across Routt County should start seeing ballots for the June 28 primary showing up in their mailboxes by the end of this week.

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Jenny Thomas said the ballots were mailed out of the general mailing facility in Denver on Monday, and are already starting to show up in people’s mailboxes. If your ballot doesn’t arrive by the end of the week, Thomas said to give her office a call to ensure information is up to date.

“We can always get someone a replacement ballot in the mail or if they want to stop by to pick it up,” Thomas said.

The last day to request a ballot be mailed out is June 20, and that ballot would be in the mail the next day. Thomas said June 21 is the latest she would recommend people try to mail their ballots back, as the ballots need to received by 7 p.m. June 28. While other states use postmarks, Thomas said that isn’t a factor in Colorado’s rules.

“I wouldn’t recommend mailing it back after that point,” Thomas said. “You can mail it, but I can’t guarantee it will get here because we don’t go off a postmark. It has to be received no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.”

Instead, Thomas said the best option would be to drop it in one of various ballot drop boxes dispersed across Routt County. There are two 24-hour boxes — one in the alley of the historic Routt County Courthouse and the other in the parking lot of the Combined Law Enforcement Facility on Steamboat’s west side. These are checked every day until the election.

The town halls in Hayden, Oak Creek and Yampa, as well as the Clark Store, have drop boxes available during business hours. Thomas said ballots would be picked up every couple days at first, with daily pickups starting a bit closer to the primary.

Unaffiliated voters are allowed to participate in primaries in Colorado, and will be sent both major party ballots, unless they had already specified a preference.

Of the 19,277 ballots sent out Monday, almost half are not affiliated with either major political party. Another 5,427 voters will receive Democratic Party ballots, and 4,248 will receive Republican Party ballots.

For those who are registered with a third party, they won’t receive any primary ballot at all, as those parties are not participating in the primary — something Thomas said is typical.

It isn’t too late to register to vote in the primary, but it is too late to change party affiliation, as that deadline was Monday, June 6. Those looking to register can stop in the Clerk and Recorder’s office or find more information at

Turnout in this primary could be lower than previous years because the Democratic Party doesn’t have any contested races at the local level or statewide.

In the last midterm primary in 2018, turnout among Routt County voters was about 28%, but both parties had multiple candidates in multiple races. The 2018 general election saw about a 65% turnout locally.

“It’s hard to gauge,” Thomas said. “Everybody’s getting a ballot anyway and we’re running a whole election, so we’re ready for all of the voters voting, which would be amazing.”

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