Behind the headlines: Kay Weinland

What you need to know to vote in the primary

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Q. What are the most important election deadlines people need to know about?

A. There are numerous election deadlines and they all are important. We try to inform and notify the public of each deadline as it is approaching. The most important approaching deadline is July 12 -- the deadline to register to vote in the primary election. This also is the deadline to affiliate with a political party to vote in the primary.

Q. Who should register for the primary elections?

A. Anyone who wishes to vote in the primary will need to be registered by July 12. The important thing to remember is that, to vote in a Colorado primary, you must be affiliated with the party whose ballot you wish to vote. For example, if you are registered as a Democrat you will receive that party ballot.

Q. What should you do if you're not affiliated with a party?

A. If you wish to change your party affiliation, it must be done by the July 12 deadline. If you are registered as an unaffiliated voter, you can affiliate at the polls and receive the ballot for the party you affiliate with. It is important to remember that you will remain affiliated with that party until you make a change.

Q. Why are the primary elections important in Routt County this year?

A. At the primary elections, the candidates who go on the general ballot will be determined. It is an opportunity to make a difference at a local level.

We have some important local races, but there also are races at the state and national level that are very important. You can't ask the county clerk if primary elections are important; all elections are important!

Q. Is having two contested primaries typical?

A. In recent years there has been less interest, but it is not unusual to have primary races. It's what democracy is about: choice.

Q. How many people typically vote at a primary?

A. Primary elections typically have a very low voter turnout. I would like to know how to improve community involvement and participation. Low voter turnout is one reason we have combined a number of polling locations for this election.

Q. What are the options I have for voting in the primary election?

A. You can vote absentee by completing an absentee application. You can vote early, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 2 through 6 at the Routt County Courthouse. Or, vote at the polls anytime on Election Day.

Q. Are there any changes in the voting process that will make voting easier this year?

A. For the 2004 elections, there have been changes to the administrative processes and changes to improve access and convenience for he voters, but the process on the surface at the polls will appear very unchanged. There may be changes in the voting process in the future, but the technology will be researched very carefully before those changes occur in Routt County. The most important objective is to maintain integrity in the process.

Q. Is there anything you'd like to tell the voters?

A. Yes, don't forget your driver's license or identification card. Don't go to vote without it.

Q. In your opinion, why should people vote?

A. Because they can.

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