Monday, September 27, 2004
Steamboat Springs Unregistered voters hoping to participate in the Nov. 2 general election may want to move "register to vote" to the top of their to-do lists.
All voter registration forms must be postmarked or dropped off at the Routt County Clerk and Recorder's office in the courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., by 4:30 p.m. Monday to qualify for the Nov. 2 election.
To avoid Election Day problems or delays, county officials are urging residents who have changed their mailing addresses or moved to make sure the county has updated information by the Monday deadline.
Even residents who have moved within the county need to update their voter records and make sure they vote at the correct precincts, Routt County clerk and recorder Kay Weinland said.
"It's really not advisable to go to the precinct where they lived previously. The taxing questions are determined by where they reside, so it's important for people to vote where they live," she said.
Residents who haven't received voter information cards, sent out shortly after the primary elections in August, should contact the clerk's office to verify registration.
Voters can update addresses on voter registration forms, available at the clerk's office, as well as in city offices, libraries, post offices and the county's Web site, she said.
Weinland and her staff have been working extra hours and recruiting staff from other departments to help process the rush of new voter forms and absentee ballot applications, she said.
Since late July, the office has received between 500 and 550 new voter forms -- a lot more than it received before the 2000 election, said Vicki Weber, election supervisor.
"People are more active and passionate about this election," she said.
Unlike more populous counties on the Front Range facing backlogs of thousands of voter registration forms, Routt County has kept up with the forms, though Weinland expects a last minute rush.
"That's why we're working extra hours. ... We're doing what we can to keep up the pace, but every day we get a new pile," she said. "We're just trying to keep ahead of the mail."
Weinland doesn't expect residents to wait more than 10 or 15 minutes to vote on Election Day, but those hoping to avoid the lines or planning to be out of town may apply for an absentee ballot or take advantage of early voting.
Early voting will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays Oct. 18 though Oct. 29 in the lower level of the courthouse near the west entrance.
The deadline to apply for a mailed absentee ballot is Oct. 26. Applications for carried absentee ballots, which voters take home and return to the clerk's office, are due Oct. 29.
Sample ballots are available at the clerk's office.