Last minute votes keep coming in |

Last minute votes keep coming in

Alison Miller
Vail, CO Colorado
Preston Utley/Vail DailyKare Leake of Eagle-Vail drops off her home rule ballot Monday at the Eagle County Annex office in Avon.

EAGLE COUNTY ” Tuesday is your last day to vote on home rule and add to the nearly 40 percent of voters who have already cast their vote on the issue.

“I brought mine in to the box instead of mailing it because I wanted to make sure it was counted,” said Avon resident Melodee Kennington, who dropped her ballot ” marked “yes” ” at the Avon branch of the Clerk and Recorders Office on Monday afternoon.

Though she received her ballot in the mail three weeks ago, procrastination delayed Kennington’s vote, she said.

Carolyn Schneider of Gypsum used those three weeks to learn more about home rule before casting her vote, she said.

“I began studying it four years ago when the thought crossed my mind that we only had three commissioners and thought it was because of our size, not that it had to be law,” Schneider said. “I became more interested in it last year during the election, and even more so now that we’re having a special election on it.”

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Over the past few weeks, Schneider has been reading the informational pamphlets mailed out by the groups for and against home rule, doing her own research and reading newspaper articles, she said.

“Home rule versus what we’ve had in the past needs to be weighed with pros and cons,” Schneider said. “You have to sift through the hype and find out what you really want, and what’s good for the county.”

Holding a mail-in election was a great idea because it gave people the chance to vote on their schedule, ensuring a higher voter turnout than if people had to vote on a certain day, Schneider said.

“The turnout has been stronger than I thought,” said Teak Simonton, county clerk and recorder. “We have had above what we thought we’d get back.”

The county expected to get back 30 to 35 percent of the 16,781 ballots that were sent, Simonton said. As of Monday afternoon, 6,378 votes had been cast, or 38 percent, she said.

“We still have to count the ballot boxes from all three locations Monday after they close, the mail that will come Tuesday morning and the votes put in the boxes throughout Tuesday,” Simonton said. “I think we’ll hit the 40 percent mark. Maybe even 7,000.”

Hitting the 40 percent mark is significant because the election is being held in May instead of November, and there is only one issue on the ballot, Simonton said.

Only 400 more votes will put the tally at 40 percent.

“We were only expecting about 6,000 ballots back,” said Simonton. “High turnout is great because people feel better about the results instead of feeling like a small group of people decided the issue.”

The number of people who have voted makes it exciting, Kennington said.

“It’s great that so many people have voted on it because it’s an important issue, and we should have as many people give their opinion as possible,” Kennington said.

Voters have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to drop their ballots at any of the county clerk’s offices in Avon, Eagle and El Jebel in order to be counted.

The first 4,500 ballots the office received will automatically be counted at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Simonton said. The preliminary numbers will be made available at 7:15 p.m. on the county’s Web site,, and at

The final outcome of the election is expected to come by 9 p.m. Tuesday, Simonton said.

Staff writer Alison Miller can be reached at 748-2928 or

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