Voting reasons range from issues to force of habit |

Voting reasons range from issues to force of habit

Scott N. Miller

Bill Nelson wants to complain. That’s why he voted in Tuesday’s primary election.

“I vote so I can bitch about things,” Nelson said. “If you don’t vote, you don’t have that right.”

In addition to the right to grouse, Nelson, a Gypsum-area resident, said he often votes to try to keep people out of office rather than to get his favorites in.

“That seems to be the way it’s worked the past few years,” he said.

A few primary voters expressed the same sentiment.

“I was unaffiliated for years, but I declared a party to vote against someone,” said Charlie Crowley of Vail.

Others voted as much out of habit as dedication.

“I just always vote,” Arnold Lieberman said at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion. “Especially in these times, it’s important to be patriotic.”

The current state of the country drew some people to the polls. With control of the U.S. Senate at stake this fall and with an open seat in Colorado, some voters said they’re more involved this year than in the past.

“I’m concerned about this election,” Randy Schroeder of Gypsum said. “I’m becoming more active this year because of that.” Much of his concern starts at the White House and extends to state and local races, Schroeder said.

Vail voter Ellen Garbarino agreed.

“It’s more important than usual to vote this year,” she said. While Garbarino said she usually votes in primary and other elections, she said she’s also encouraging her friends to register and get out.

While the state of the country and world may have drawn some voters, this primary election wasn’t much different than others in the recent past. Traffic ranged from steady to slow at three of the county’s 14 polling places. Gypsum voters were out early, with more than 30 people casting ballots before 8:30 a.m.

In Vail, more than 130 people had voted before 2 p.m. Election judge Ann Eggers said a lot of business and government types had voted at the Donovan Park Pavilion. Most, she said, said they liked the new polling place, from its relative ease of parking to additional space.

“We’re making voting more simple here,” she said.

At the polling place in the Eagle-Vail Pavilion, though, business was still slow at mid day. Just after 2 p.m., fewer than 80 of the 1,800 voters who could cast ballots there had stopped in.

While the primary ballot was a simple one, with local Republicans and Democrats both voting on just two contested races, Eggers reminded voters that the November ballot is going to be long and complicated.

“We’re really encouraging people to vote absentee this year so they can take their time making decisions,” she said.

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or by e-mail at

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