Denver The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that county clerks must provide drop-off boxes for mail-in ballots at every polling place on Election Day, but the decision isn’t expected to impact Routt County.
The court said making it easier for voters to cast ballots — as the General Assembly intended when it passed a law mandating the drop-off boxes in 2009 — overrode county clerks' concerns about the added cost.
The case stems from a lawsuit filed by Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Doty and the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners against the secretary of state.
Doty and the commissioners said that to meet the requirement the county would need to provide an additional 197 ballot boxes for the 2010 general election, at a cost of $80,000. They argued that the requirement amounted to an unfunded mandate and that under state law the county should not be required to pick up the tab.
Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said the decision doesn’t apply here because the county technically has only one polling location, the Routt County Courthouse, during all-mail elections. It’s the only place where ballots are issued during mail elections.
Weinland’s office provides ballot drop-off boxes in Hayden, Oak Creek, Yampa and Clark as a convenience for voters who live outside of Steamboat Springs. During the fall election, those remote drop-off boxes were available through the afternoon of Oct. 28, the Friday before Election Day. The drop-off box at the Routt County Courthouse remained available until 7 p.m. Election Day.
Weinland said Thursday that she didn’t receive any complaints from voters about having to drop off their ballots in Steamboat Springs after the remote drop boxes were removed Oct. 28.
The Steamboat Pilot & Today contributed to this report.
Read more at The Denver Post.