Clerk's office prepares for election

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According to the Moffat County Clerk and Recorder's Office, almost 12 percent of area registered voters have not cast ballots since the 2000 election and could be purged from rolls if they don't vote next month.

Documents show 920 voters -- or 11.19 percent of registered voters -- have been placed on an "inactive" list of those who have not cast ballots since the 2000 elections.

The inactive list also includes 1,632 voters, or 20 percent of registered voters, who did not vote in the 2002 election.

Only those who have not voted since 2000 will be purged from rolls this year.

If those voters come and vote in the November election, they will become active again.

There are currently 8,221 registered voters in Moffat County.

This compares to the 9,243 voters who were registered for the general election in 2002.

Moffat County Clerk Elaine Sullivan said the inactive list includes many people who have moved from the area and should be purged from voter rolls anyway.

But these numbers also reflect an attitude some voters have that presidential elections are the only elections that count and they fail to cast ballots in the odd-year elections, Sullivan said.

Sullivan said while this is not a presidential election, there could be a larger-than-normal voter turnout because of the recreation center initiative that will be on the ballots for city residents.

"We've been getting a lot of calls about that," Sullivan said.

Sullivan said those who have called have not indicated which way they plan to vote.

The recreation center would be funded by a combination half cent sales tax increase and the implementation of a 2.75 percent automobile use tax. Once the debt has been paid on the facility -- in an estimated 25 years -- the sales tax would sunset and the use tax would be reduced to 2.25 percent.

Facility amenities will include a six-lane lap pool, a leisure pool with spray features, a lazy river and a slide, and a six-point indoor shooting range.

Sullivan said she expects this issue to bring out more voters than the last sole city initiative election, which was held in April regarding sidewalks.

Only about 10 percent of the city's 5,400 registered voters came to the polls to say "no" to a plan that would have meant sidewalks for schools and would have cost each homeowner approximately $9 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Whether voting yes or no, Sullivan encouraged registered voters to get out to the polls.

The last coordinated election of 2001 cost the county about $8,000 or $4.99 per ballot. That election saw an 18 percent turnout.

When people do go out to vote they need to remember to bring valid identification, which is a new requirement under state law that goes into affect this year.

Voters also must remember that precincts will be combined for this election -- from the regular 13 to four. This occurs during every coordinated election, Sullivan said.

Contact Terrance Vestal at 824-7031, Ext. 204 or by e-mail at tvestal@craigdailypress.com.

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