Voter turnout strong for ‘off year’
Steamboat Springs — For an election void of a major state or national candidate race and with only two state ballot issues, the turnout of voters was uncommonly strong in Routt County.
The Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s office estimated that 43 percent of active registered voters in Routt County or 4,915 people went to vote on Tuesday. There are 11,500 active voters in the county, meaning they have voted in recent elections. Including registered voters who haven’t voted in recent elections many who may have moved out of the county there are 16,319 registered voters, which drops the voter turnout to 30 percent.
Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said that’s a really good turnout for an “off year,” but she said she is always shooting for at least 80 percent.
Last year, voter turnout was above 80 percent, with 9,682 voters, which was a new record in the county. That election brought out the voters in Routt County because it included a presidential race, a Routt County Commission race, and races for state and national representatives for the Senate and Legislature.
Weinland said to find out how good voter turnout was this year, numbers from November of 1999 should be looked at. On that year, considered an off year, 24 percent of active voters showed up to vote, or 3,622 people.
“If we are better than 24 percent, I’m happy,” she said after counting votes.
In 1999, which was the last Steamboat Springs City Council election, the most active city council race drew less than 2,500 votes. The hottest race this year, between Ken Brenner and Paul Antonucci, drew 2,696 votes.
Voters in Routt County mirrored the rest of the voters in Colorado on the two state ballot issues. The majority of Routt County voted against Amendment 26 1,833 to 2,876 which would have allowed surplus tax money to be used to test and plan a monorail transportation system on Interstate 70.
The majority of county voters voted yes on Referendum A 2,942 to 1,817 which allows the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund to borrow money by issuing bonds.
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