Election judge Frank Bradley counts the number of voters who came through the doors of the Steamboat Springs Community Center to cast their ballots on Election Day.

Photo by John F. Russell

Election judge Frank Bradley counts the number of voters who came through the doors of the Steamboat Springs Community Center to cast their ballots on Election Day.

Routt election officials report solid turnout

Polls open until 7 p.m. today across county

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Precinct polling locations

1 — North Routt Community Charter School, 54200 Routt County Road 62, Clark

2, 5 — Routt County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 398 S. Poplar St., Hayden

3, 4 — Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat

6, 7 — Steamboat Christian Center, 36103 E. U.S. Highway 40, Steamboat

8, 9 — Oak Creek Town Hall, 129 W. Colfax St., Oak Creek

10 — Yampa Town Hall, 56 Lincoln Ave., Yampa

11, 12 — Centennial Hall, 137 10th St., Steamboat

13, 14 — Courthouse Annex Conference Room 1, 136 6th St., Steamboat

15, 16 — Yampa Valley Medical Center, 1024 Central Park Drive, Steamboat

17, 18 — Mountain Resorts, 2150 Resort Drive, Steamboat

— By 5 p.m. today, thousands of voters had turned out to polling places around Routt County.

Polling centers in Steamboat Springs were reporting from 200 to 375 voters each. Each polling center covered two precincts.

Routt County resident Rob Van Deren brought his 6-year-old son to the polls this evening. He said his son, Max, had already voted — on his favorite movie — during kindergarten.

Van Deren, however, said he thinks it’s important to exercise his own right to vote.

“There’s obviously a lot of issues right now, and we’ve got to do what we think is right,” he said. “It’s important to vote in every election, but this one has some major issues for sure.”

Routt County resident Chris Sachs also said some pressing issues encouraged her to perform what she called her civic duty.

“With the way the economy is right now, you have to be concerned,” she said. “If I don’t vote, then I don’t have the right to complain.”

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said her office has been “frantic” all day, but she said it with a smile on her face.

“It’s going to be a great turnout,” she said.

About 375 people had voted at the Routt County Courthouse Annex — the polling place for precincts 13 and 14 — by about 5 p.m. Also late this afternoon, 255 people had voted at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, 285 had voted at Centennial Hall, 275 had voted at Yampa Valley Medical Center, 300 had voted at Mountain Resorts and 215 had voted at Steamboat Christian Center.

Steve Corzette, poll supervisor for the Courthouse Annex location, said many people showed up to vote at the Courthouse Annex - the location for early voting, which ended Friday - and had to be directed to their proper polling location, elsewhere.

"We have sent hundreds to other precincts," Corzette said this evening.

Find your precinct by looking up your voter registration information on the Colorado Secretary of State's website.

Heavy early voting turnout had indicated that turnout would be strong today.

Weinland said 5,376 of the county’s 13,000 registered voters had either turned in their mail-in ballot or voted early via electronic voting machines before the polls opened today.

Of the 3,415 mail-in ballots returned, 2,850 had to be replicated by hand because of a computer glitch that rendered the first batch of mail-in ballots unreadable by the county’s electronic scanners. That number swelled as voters returned mail-in ballots today.

By 6:20 p.m., election judges had hand-copied a total of 3,325 mail-in ballots since Oct. 22.

Weinland praised the bipartisan teams of election judges who have been hand-copying ballots in four-hours shifts.

“They’re critical, and we can’t do it without them,” she said. “And they’ve been doing a wonderful job.”

By 5:45 p.m. today, election judges on the third floor of the Routt County Courthouse had caught up with the work and were taking a break for pizza.

Election judge Ron McMorris said an audit of the copying process found an error this morning. Weinland said a vote for a judge that was filled out on an original, unreadable ballot had not been copied onto the new ballot.

Weinland said when the error was discovered, the entire, corresponding batch of 100 ballots was re-copied.

It was the first error found in audits of the ballot-copying process.

Barb Pasco, a former clerk and recorder for Park County, said she's watched the entire ballot-copying process as a contracted observer for the Colorado Secretary of State's office. She's worked for that office on a freelance basis since 2002.

"It's an excellent process," she said of Routt County's hand-copying effort. "It went very well."

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 871-4204 or e-mail ninglis@steamboatpilot.com

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