Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said Wednesday that, based on records kept by her office, voter turnout in Tuesday’s election exceeded the number of votes cast in previous odd-year elections.
Weinland has election turnout numbers dating back only to 2000, but based on increasing numbers of voters, she called the 2011 turnout of 7,826 voters a record. That turnout represents 67 percent of the county’s 11,735 active voters.
By comparison, vote totals in past odd-year elections were: 4,934 in 2009, 6,209 in 2007, 6,850 in 2005, 5,023 in 2003 and 4,915 in 2001.
Weinland said she hoped that this year’s high turnout was based on general interest in local politics, but she suspected it had more to do with ballot questions such as a sales tax for Steamboat’s winter air service program and proposed bans on medical marijuana businesses.
“We might see a marked decline in future elections,” she said. “I’m holding hope that we’ve seen a decrease in apathy. That’s been a concern of mine. We’ll just keep working to inform voters and hope for the best in future years.”