Routt County's final election count is in

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The tally of Routt County's votes in the 2004 election was finished officially Tuesday.

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland's guess that 95 percent of registered, active voters would make it to the polls was almost correct: 92 percent participated in the election.

"I am so thrilled," Weinland said. When she made her guess that the county would see a 95 percent turnout, she said she figured that goal was "pie in the sky."

"I'm really pleased," she said. "I think Routt County really got out and voted."

Of the county clerks across the state with whom Weinland has spoken, Routt County's turnout is the highest, she said. Official counts must be submitted to the state by Thursday.

In the two weeks since the election, county officials have worked to verify the election by accounting for every vote that was cast and certifying results.

The final counts did not change the outcome of any races, but did show that 11,810 voters hit the polls.

Because of new rules, county officials had to wait 10 days after the election to count absentee ballots to give time for overseas military ballots to arrive, so the final absentee count began Monday.

Also, county officials had to verify provisional ballots and count those from officially registered voters. Of the 217 provisional ballots cast, 183 were counted.

Officials were not able to count the remaining 34 for a variety of reasons, Weinland said. Some ballots were not completely filled out, and other ballots were cast by people who were not registered in any state databases, she said.

Overall, having provisional ballots was helpful because it allowed 183 people to vote who otherwise might not have been able to do so, Weinland said.

"I think provisional ballots are working out well for voters," she said. "We didn't send anybody away."

In the past two weeks, county officials also finished entering voter registration information and completed other election-related details.

"(There is) lots of follow-up work with every election," Weinland said.

With the dust from the 2004 election settling, Weinland said her office is glad to be finished.

"I'm just happy and relieved, and ready for the next project," she said.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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