Clerk's office mails ballots

Voters should check mailboxes as soon as Wednesday

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Election 2009

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

Election 2009 key dates and notes

- Ballots will be mailed today to all active Routt County registered voters. If you're an active voter and your voter registration information is current, you don't need to request a ballot. The U.S. Postal Service will not forward ballots. If you haven't received your ballot by Oct. 21, call the Clerk and Recorder's Office at 970-870-5558.

- Oct. 27 is the last day to request a ballot be mailed to you.

- If returning your ballot via mail, only normal postage is required.

- There are five drop-off locations in Routt County for voters to submit their completed ballots: Routt County Clerk and Recorder's Office, Yampa Town Hall, Oak Creek Town Hall, Hayden Town Hall and the Clark Store.

- All ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Nov. 3. Voters should not mail their ballots after Oct. 29.

- 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.

- Voters who have any questions about the mail-in ballot process should call the Clerk and Recorder's Office at 870-5558.

— The Routt County Clerk and Recorder's Office is putting more than 13,000 ballots in the mail today, the same day the Steamboat Springs City Council is scheduled to take a vote on the most politically charged issue in recent memory.

"I will go down and make sure they are delivered personally," Routt County Elections Supervisor Vicki Weber said about the ballots.

The timing of ballot delivery for this year's mail-only election and a scheduled final vote on the Steamboat 700 annexation is purely coincidental. Nonetheless - and regardless of the outcome - political tensions are sure to be running high Wednesday, when ballots should first start appearing in residents' mailboxes.

Issues on the ballot this year include three contested Steamboat Springs City Council races, one contested Steamboat Springs School Board race, two contested Hayden School Board races, two town of Hayden tax questions and one city of Steamboat Springs referendum issue.

There are no questions facing South Routt voters, so this year's election has been canceled there. That is why the number of ballots being mailed, 13,237, is less than the total number of registered voters in Routt County, 15,262. Voter registration is down from 17,850 in 2008. Weber said the decrease is because of the federally mandated "purging" of inactive voters from registration rolls. Registrations are canceled for voters who didn't vote in 2008 and the previous two general elections, Weber said.

Weber said residents who have not received a ballot by Oct. 21 should contact the elections office at 970-870-5558. Ballots cannot be forwarded if they are sent to an outdated address, but ballots can be reissued. Oct. 27 is the last day for voters to request that a ballot be mailed to them if they have not received it yet. Voters may request a "carried" ballot at the elections office up until Election Day on Nov. 3. The county previously incorrectly reported that ballots could not be issued over the counter after Oct. 30.

Ballots may be returned by mail or taken to one of five drop-off locations throughout the county: Routt County Clerk and Recorder's Office, Yampa Town Hall, Oak Creek Town Hall, Hayden Town Hall and the Clark Store. Ballots may be dropped off during the regular business hours of each location through Oct. 30. The Routt County Clerk and Recorder's Office is closed on Fridays.

On Monday, Nov. 2, and Tuesday, Nov. 3, the elections office on the third floor of the Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave, will be the only drop-off location available. All ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Nov. 3.

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said early, electronic voting will be available for disabled residents who want to vote that way at the elections office in the Routt County Courthouse.

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