2015 voter turnout in Routt, Steamboat may be tough to match in ’17 | SteamboatToday.com

2015 voter turnout in Routt, Steamboat may be tough to match in ’17

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Mail ballots for the Nov. 7 election are in the hands of voters this week, but with few contested candidate elections in Routt County this election cycle, it's an open question if voter turnout will match 2015's odd-year election when significantly more candidates tossed their hats in the ring.

In 2015, 52 percent of active registered voters in the county cast ballots. But that year, all four Steamboat Springs City Council races were contested including five candidates seeking the four-year term in District I alone.

The only contested race for Steamboat Springs City Council this fall is the race between incumbent Scott Ford and challenger Peter Arnold.

And there are two candidates, both newcomers, running for two openings on the Steamboat Springs School Board. Voters should note that the name of former candidate Annie Camacho remains on the ballot although she has withdrawn from the school board race.

In 2015, there were five candidates for three openings for four-year terms in the Steamboat Springs School Board, with a sixth candidate running for the two-year term.

Routt Count Clerk Kim Bonner said based on previous elections, the low number of contested races could result in voter turnout in the 40 percentile this fall, but she's also optimistic.

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"There are a number of really important taxing questions," she said.  "I'm hoping that will offset the (absence) of contested races."

Among those are school bond elections in the Steamboat and Hayden school districts.

Steamboat is asking voters to approve a $12.9 million bond to rehabilitate school facilities, with a companion ongoing $1 million mill levy to take care of school facilities in the future. Hayden is seeking permission to take on $22.3 million in bonded indebtedness, hoping to match a state grant that would allow the district to build new schools.

And the town of Hayden is asking voters to approve a $3.7 million bond issue to improve streets, water supply and wastewater treatment.

There will also be a tax question in Steamboat and the surrounding areas to help support the creation of new affordable workforce apartments and housing.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1.

Mail ballots may be dropped off by voters

Voters in Routt County are already completing their ballots and returning them by mail, but they may also drop off, replace or vote their ballots at the Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave. in Steamboat Springs, during office hours — 8 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. through Nov. 6, plus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4 and from 7 a.m. to  7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7.

Routt County also has numerous ballot drop-off locations including a 24-hour secure ballot box in the alley behind the courthouse. Ballots may also be dropped off at the following locations during normal office hours: Clark Store, 54175 Routt County Road 129; Hayden Town Hall, 178 W. Jefferson Ave.; Oak Creek Town Hall, 129 Nancy Crawford Blvd; and Yampa Town Hall, 56 Lincoln.

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