Craig City Clerk pleased with ballot returns so far

To vote

• To activate or update your voter status, visit www.govotecolorad..., or stop by the Moffat County Elections Department inside the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way.

Two weeks after mailing out ballots to active, registered Craig voters, the Moffat County Elections Department has received 880 ballots as of Friday.

Moffat County Elections Supervisor Stephanie Beckett said the city has mailed out 3,150 ballots since mid-March. As of Friday, there were 5,895 registered voters in the city, but only 3,150 are considered active.

In late February, the Craig City Council voted to conduct a mail-in election in hopes of boosting voter turnout.

Craig City Clerk Shirley Seely said the 880 returned ballots are the most votes in a city election since at least 2005.

“We are very pleased with the turnout so far, and we’re hoping that it will be much better than that in the end,” Seely said.

“I have heard people say that they think it is really easy to do and they like to do it that way.”

Beckett encouraged city residents who have not received a ballot to stop by her office in the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way.

Chances are, she said, the office might not have an accurate address for the resident, or they are listed as an inactive voter, which she can change and then issue them a ballot.

“I have had maybe two comments asking if they didn’t return their ballots if they could still vote on Tuesday,” she said. “I had to explain that no, there would be no polling place.”

Although the election is a mail ballot format instead of a single polling place, residents can return their ballot to one of two drop boxes between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at either the courthouse or Craig City Hall, 300 W. Fourth St.

Ballots must be returned no later than 7 p.m. April 5.

Ballots need to be mailed by at least April 1 in order for them to be received by Election Day, Seely said.

Three council seats currently held by Ray Beck, Joe Herod and Byron Willems are up for grabs in the election in addition to the mayor’s position.

Beck, Willems, Joe Bird, Don Jones, Stephen Hinkemeyer and Tony Bohrer are the council candidates. Current council member Terry Carwile and local resident Frank Moe are the mayoral candidates.

Candidates file financial reports

On March 22, the six Craig City Council candidates and two mayoral candidates filed reports of campaign contributions and expenditures with the city.

Willems declared spending $478.40 through March 22. Bird spent $497.50 on his campaign through March 21.

Bohrer reported spending $158.30 through March 22. Jones declared spending $352.29 through March 22. Beck spent $445.90 on his campaign.

Carwile spent $505.50 on his campaign, according to records. Moe and Hinkemeyer declared not spending any money on their campaigns.

Craig City Attorney Kenny Wohl said a provision in the city charter states candidates can’t spend more than $500 on their campaigns, but the city can’t enforce it due to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court stating such rules could violate the First Amendment.

“It is in there, but it has no force in effect because there is a permanent injunction against it,” he said.

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