Elections Office, clerk's office only drop-off locations for votes

Ballots due in the Routt County Courthouse, in downtown Steamboat, by 7 p.m. Tuesday

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Election 2009

Visit www.steamboatpilot.com/election2009 for complete coverage of this year's races and issues.

On the ballot

Steamboat Springs City Council

- District 1 (four years): Cari Hermacinski (at-large incumbent), Kevin Bennett

- District 2 (four years): Kenny Reisman, Ken Solomon

- District 3 (four years): Walter Magill (incumbent)

- At-large (two years): Jim Engelken, Kyle Pietras

Steamboat Springs School Board

- District 1 (four years): Brian Kelly, Bill Kennedy

- District 3 (four years): Denise Connelly (incumbent)

Steamboat Referendum 2C

To lower the city's referendum threshold to match the state's requirement that petitioners collect signatures from 10 percent of registered voters instead of the city's charter requirement of 20 percent.

Hayden School Board

- District A (four years): Tim Frentress, Darren Zehner

- District B (four years): Vance Fulton (incumbent), Laurie Hallenbeck

Hayden Referendum 2A

3.5 percent tax increase on hotel rooms.

Hayden Referendum 2B

3.5 percent tax increase on rental cars at Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

At a glance

- If you haven't received a ballot and think you should have - or have any questions about this year's election - visit the Routt County Elections Office in the Routt County Courthouse or call 970-870-5558.

- Electronic voting is available for disabled voters or any voter who chooses to vote electronically, at the Elections Office on the third floor of the Routt County Courthouse.

- All ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Tuesday. It is too late to return a ballot by mail, but voters can take them to the Elections Office by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

- Voters will receive ballots specific to where they live. For example, South Routt residents won't receive ballots because there are no contested school board races or city elections there.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated from its original version, to reflect that the Routt County Courthouse is the only available drop-off location for ballots today and Tuesday. Voters can return ballots to the Elections Office on the third floor or the Clerk & Recorder's office on the second floor.

One day before the end of Routt County's first all-mail election, there's still time to cast your ballot.

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland has a few last-minute reminders for voters before the election concludes at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

For those who have not received a ballot, they can be picked up in the Elections Office on the third floor of the Routt County Courthouse - on Lincoln Avenue downtown, between Fifth and Sixth streets - until the election ends. Replacement ballots also can be picked up until 7 p.m. Tuesday. All ballots are due by that time.

It is now too late to mail ballots. Anyone wishing to turn in a ballot must drop it off at the courthouse, either at the Elections Office on the third floor or the Clerk & Recorder's Office on the second floor. The Elections office closes at 5:30 p.m. today and opens at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Drop-off locations are no longer available at Yampa Town Hall, Oak Creek Town Hall, Hayden Town Hall or the Clark Store.

For city voters, this year's ballot includes three contested races for Steamboat Springs City Council, in districts 1 and 2 and for the at-large seat; one contested Steamboat Springs School Board race, for the District 1 seat; and Referendum 2C, which proposes lowering the amount of signatures needed for a successful petition drive to refer a decision back to City Council.

The referendum would change the city's threshold to 10 percent of registered voters in the last regular municipal election from the 20 percent threshold currently in the city's home rule charter.

Referendum 2C also would delete language prohibiting the referral of "ordinances for the zoning or rezoning of specific real property," meaning zoning or rezoning decisions could be referred back to City Council with a petition drive. Both changes proposed by Referendum 2C would bring Steamboat Springs' charter in line with the state constitution.

In Hayden, there are two tax questions on the ballot: Referendums 2A and 2B, which propose a 3.5 percent tax increase on hotel rooms in Hayden and rental cars at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, respectively.

Hayden also has contested School Board races in districts A and B. South Routt County voters have nothing to decide this fall.

So far, the countywide turnout is on a pace to end lower than the previous two odd-year elections.

Through Friday, county elections staff had received and certified 2,797 ballots, about 21 percent of the 13,457 ballots county officials sent to voters.

"I'm not sure whether it's because of a lack of issues on the ballot or if it's going to be last-minute," Weinland said about the slow voting response.

Odd-year elections traditionally have lower turnouts in Routt County than even-year general elections.

In 2007, 6,124 voters cast a ballot in Routt County, a drop from 2005's tally of 6,850 voters - a county record for an odd-year election.

Weinland said the Elections Office is planning to have additional staffing Tuesday to count and certify ballots, in case there is a late rush of ballots pouring into the office up to the 7 p.m. deadline.

Weinland encouraged people to get their ballots in as soon as possible.

Electronic voting is available at the Elections Office for disabled voters or any voter who chooses to vote electronically. Voters who have any questions about the mail-in ballot process can call the Elections Office at 870-5558.

Reporter Brandon Gee contributed to this story.

- To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@steamboatpilot.com

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