Routt County voters will start receiving ballots on Wednesday

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Election forum on Thursday

Voters still have a chance to meet the candidates at an election forum sponsored by the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Steamboat Board of Realtors, the Routt County Democratic Party and the Routt County Republican Party. The forum starts with a meet and greet at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17 at The Steamboat Grand. The forum will begin at 6 p.m.

Referendum 5B misprint

Because of a printing error, a small part of the Referendum 5B question was left off the ballot. Voters will receive a full copy of the question on a separate piece of paper with their ballots. The referendum asks voters whether to approve a property tax increase to provide more funding to the West Routt Fire Protection District.

— Starting Wednesday, about 15,750 voters here in Routt County will receive the ballots they will use to decide a city council and several school board races and ballot initiatives.

The initiatives range from a proposed $1 billion income tax increase for public education to a tax on the sale of recreational marijuana.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today will publish its annual election guide featuring candidate profiles and stories on all the ballot initiatives Wednesday.

Routt County Elections Supervisor Kim Bonner said voters here can expect a few significant changes this election cycle due to recent legislation.

For starters, about 2,500 voters who previously wouldn't have received a ballot because of an “inactive” status still will get one in the mail.

Residents also can go to the historic Routt County Courthouse in downtown Steamboat Springs to register to vote through Election Day.

Previously, voters had to be registered at least 29 days before an election.

“It's not too crazy yet,” Bonner said about the pace in the elections office. “It'll probably be the last two weeks before the election that we see the most activity.”

After they fill out a ballot and sign it, voters can mail them back to the Routt County Clerk and Recorder's Office or drop them off at one of five places in the county during normal business hours through Nov. 1.

Drop-off locations include the Clerk's Office at the historic courthouse, the Clark Store, Hayden Town Hall, Oak Creek Town Hall and Yampa Town Hall.

Bonner is encouraging voters to remember to sign the ballots and be consistent with their signatures.

Some voters who did not provide ID when they registered to vote will be asked to include a copy of their ID in the returned ballot.

“When we get ballots that are missing the signature or there's a signature discrepancy, we write a letter to the voter and give eight days to remedy them. We haven't gone any further than that,” she said.

But she said this year, another rule change will have the elections office turn over unsigned ballots and ones with signatures that cannot be verified to the district attorney's office.

Residents can check their voting status at govotecolorado.com or by calling the elections office at 970-870-5558.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.

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