■ Learn more about the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation by clicking here.
■ Learn more about the Let’s Vote issue committee, opposing the Steamboat 700 annexation at https://letsvoteno.com.
■ Learn more about the Good For Steamboat committee, supporting the Steamboat 700 annexation at www.good4steamboat.com.
Vote on 700
■ Ballots for the mail-only election will be sent to registered Steamboat Springs voters between Feb. 15 and 19. The election ends March 9.
■ Steamboat 700 is a proposed master-planned community on 487 acres adjacent to the western city limits of Steamboat Springs. The project proposes about 2,000 homes — from apartments to single-family home lots — and 380,000 square feet of commercial development that would be built to the standards of new urbanism (dense, walkable and transit-friendly).
Steamboat Springs Monday is the last day for city residents to register to vote on the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation.
The vote is open only to residents in Steamboat Springs city limits. Ballots for the all-mail election will be sent between Feb. 15 and 19. The vote concludes March 9. Residents can register to vote in the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office at the Routt County Courthouse, on Lincoln Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets in downtown Steamboat Springs. Residents who already are registered can change or update their address at that office and also can change or update their address at City Hall, 137 10th St.
County Elections Supervisor Vicki Weber said Wednesday that her office has not seen a great deal of new voters coming in to register but has seen people checking their addresses.
Weber said voters should make sure their addresses are updated if they have moved or changed their mailing addresses.
“The people that are coming in are verifying that they are registered to vote and that we do have the correct address — that’s the majority of it,” she said.
People with questions about their registration status can call the county Clerk and Recorder’s Office at 870-5558 or City Hall at 879-2060. City Clerk Julie Franklin and city legal assistant Lynn Donaldson, acting as chief election deputy, are leading the city’s election efforts.
Running the election is the city’s task, but an intergovernmental agreement allows the county, which has election experience and equipment, to tally votes.
Online resources also are available for voters.
Voters can check their registration status online through the Clerk and Recorder’s “Elections” link at www.co.routt.co.us, or through the Colorado Secretary of State’s office at www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections. Absentee ballot request forms are available online through the city clerk’s voter information link at http://steamboatsprings.net.
Franklin said absentee ballot request forms also are available at City Hall for residents who have a different address in the winter, for example.
Mailed ballots will not be forwarded.
Franklin said Wednesday that the city has contracted with Integrated Voting Solutions, of Fresno, Calif., to print and mail the ballots, for an estimated cost of $10,284. Steamboat 700 has agreed to pay for the election. Routt County contracted with Integrated Voting Solutions to print and mail ballots for the November 2009 election, which was the county’s first all-mail vote.
“The county was very, very happy with them,” Franklin said about Integrated.
The $10,284 cost is higher than the $8,500 initially mentioned by city attorney Tony Lettunich. Franklin said $8,500 was an estimate and noted that the city added a two-cent per envelope cost for tracking.
“Once it’s mailed, I can verify that it did go to the voter,” Franklin said about the ballots.
Voters can mail completed ballots to City Hall or drop them off at that location. City Hall will be the only drop-off location for ballots. Franklin said the city would borrow ballot drop-off boxes from the county to ensure security.
Franklin acknowledged the huge public interest in the Steamboat 700 proposal and has said that her office will take every step possible to ensure the election’s security and integrity.
Today, city and county officials are scheduled to conduct a logic and accuracy test of the vote-counting system. Representatives of the Good For Steamboat and Let’s Vote committees, supporting and opposing the annexation, respectively, will be on hand.
“The state requires that test before any election,” Weber said. “We are running the ballots through and testing that the device is counting the ballots correctly.”
Franklin said City Hall’s front desk staff members would be certified as election judges. She said city records clerk Sabrina James is not participating in election activities. James’ husband, Chad James, is a paid consultant for the Steamboat 700 team and leading the Good For Steamboat committee efforts.
Steamboat 700 proposes about 2,000 homes and 380,000 square feet of commercial space just west of the current city limits. City planning documents cite a 20- to 30-year timeframe for development.
The intergovernmental agreement states that there are 6,386 current, active voters in city limits. In the weeks leading up to the election in the fall, many voters discovered a need to update or change their registered address. Franklin and Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland have said that process did a great deal to clean up registration lists and should help the city this time around.