600 have voted in Steamboat 700 election

City nears 10 percent turnout for annexation election

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Vote on 700

■ Ballots for the mail-only election have been sent to city voters. City Hall is the only place for voters to return their ballots, by mail or drop-off. City Hall is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. City Hall is closed Fridays.

The mailing address is City Clerk’s Office, 137 10th Street, Steamboat Springs, CO, 80477. One normal postage stamp is sufficient for ballot mailing.

■ 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).

— About 600 people had voted on the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation as of Monday afternoon, Steamboat Springs City Clerk Julie Franklin said.

That’s approaching a 10 percent turnout so far for the city’s mail-only vote on Steamboat 700. The referendum election ends March 9, two weeks from today. A city intergovernmental agreement with Routt County, approved last month and detailing county assistance with the city-run election, cites 6,386 active voters in city limits. Franklin said California-based contractor Integrated Voting Solutions mailed 6,607 ballots, and she has about 2,000 more on hand at City Hall to account for replacement ballots, changed addresses, voters who change their status from “inactive” to “active,” and other situations.

As of November 2007, the city had a total of 8,285 registered voters, meaning nearly 2,000 voters could be registered as “inactive.” In the November 2009 election, 3,337 city residents voted.

For registered voters who have lost or not received a ballot, replacement ballot forms are available through March 9 at City Hall and on the Web at www.steamboatsprings.net, through the City Clerk’s site. Registered voters can call or visit City Hall to check or update their addresses. City Hall’s main phone number is 970-879-2060.

Franklin said voters’ status was changed to “inactive” if they did not vote in the November 2008 election. Voters also can be listed as inactive if their ballot was mailed to an undeliverable address last year.

To change that status back to “active,” voters can complete and return the “application for mail ballot by an inactive voter” form on the city’s Web site. The form also is at City Hall and may be filed anytime before March 9.

Franklin said Monday that her office has received about 300 ballots that were returned as “undeliverable,” primarily because of an incorrect address.

She said vote tallying won’t begin until March.

“We start processing (ballots) with our (election) judges on March 3. … So we could start running them through the machine that night,” she said.

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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