Steamboat 700 votes won't be counted until Tuesday night

Election judges processing ballots, not counting votes yet

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Learn more about the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation at www.steamboatpilot.com/steamboat700/.

Vote on 700

■ Ballots for the mail-only election have been sent to city voters. City Hall is the only place for voters to drop off their ballots, although they also can be mailed. City Hall is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. City Hall will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today, and from 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturday so voters can return ballots. Voters can receive ballots through Tuesday at City Hall.

■ 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.

— Local election judges are processing and scanning ballots in the city election on Steamboat 700, but no results will be known until after 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“We can’t even see (results) now — we just scan ballots,” Steamboat Springs City Clerk Julie Franklin said Thursday.

A headline in Thursday’s Steamboat Today used the phrase “vote tally” to describe the process under way on the third floor of the Routt County Courthouse. Election judges are opening envelopes, double-checking ballot counts and scanning ballots, but they have no access to vote results regarding the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation.

“It’s against state statute to do any sort of counting until Tuesday,” election judge Cather­ine Carson said.

Routt County is assisting with the city-run election. Routt County Elections Supervisor Vicki Weber clarified Thursday that when a ballot is scanned, the computer places an image of the ballot on a memory card that, on Tuesday, election judges will place in another computer to count the votes.

“The computer we’re putting it on (now) does not have the ability to count (votes),” Carson said.

“We’re just taking a picture of the ballot,” Weber added.

Franklin said Thursday afternoon that 2,945 city residents have voted on Steamboat 700, which proposes about 2,000 homes and 380,000 square feet of commercial space on a site just west of current city limits, throughout a 20- to 30-year development timeframe.

The mail-only referendum election ends at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

City Hall is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today, and from 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturday so voters can return ballots.

Franklin said the deadline has passed to request a ballot by mail but that voters can receive ballots in person through Tuesday at City Hall.

For registered voters who have lost or not received a ballot, replacement ballot forms are available at City Hall and on the Web at www.steam boatsprings.net, through the “Depart­ments” and “City Clerk” links. Registered voters can call or visit City Hall to check or update their address. City Hall’s main phone number is 970-879-2060.

Franklin said voters’ statuses were 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 can be filed anytime before Tuesday.

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