The number of active, registered Routt County voters has increased by more than 10 percent since the primaries in August.
The county has a total of almost 13,000 voters.
Also, the county has issued about 1,500 absentee ballots, an increase of 37 percent from the 2000 election when about 1,100 absentee ballots were issued. There are two more weeks for voters to apply for absentee ballots.
But even as signs point to a strong voter turnout, officials across the state are scrambling to prevent one possibility for voter fraud.
After the recent discovery that Colorado's registration rolls include as many as 6,000 residents serving sentences for felony convictions, the secretary of state called an emergency meeting of clerks from the state's 64 counties.
Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland attended the meeting Monday, during which the group decided on a process in which the felons would be identified and allowed to vote provisionally. That gives clerks a chance to check whether the votes were legal and then admit votes for those that were.
Such a process allows the state to ensure illegal votes are not counted and that voters are not disenfranchised, Weinland said.
Weinland said she expects that every county in the state will have at least one such person on its voter-registration rolls, but she does not expect the problem to be major in Routt County because of the county's smaller population.
Every month, each county takes steps to decrease the chances of fraud by eliminating duplicate names or names of voters who have died.
However, with almost 17,000 active and inactive voters in Routt County, which has a population of 20,788, according to recent U.S. Census estimates, it is clear that more clean-up work is necessary.
A statewide voter registration system that should be in place by 2006 will help greatly, Weinland said.
In the meantime, voters need to remember that there are many safety precautions against voter fraud already in place and that only a small number of people take invalid measures, Weinland said.
Weinland also said she wanted to alert voters who may have registered through voter registration drives that they should follow up with the county and be sure they really are registered. Information collected from some drives has not been turned in, so officials across the state are encouraging voters to double check.
Weinland also emphasized that though the office has been busier than ever, data entry for all voter registration forms received to date is current, as a result of the long days and weekends employees have been working. All absentee ballots for which voters have applied to date also have been issued and mailed.
Voters also are strongly encouraged to update their records before Election Day to help make the election process as efficient as possible.
Sample ballots and election information are available at www.co.routt.co.us/clerk.