With 3 days until Election Day, voter turnout remains low
March 29, 2013
Craig — With just three days until Election Day, only 12 percent of registered Craig voters had cast a ballot for Tuesday's municipal election. The good news? There's still time to help the city choose its next mayor and as many as four City Council members.
Moffat County Clerk and Recorder's Office officials said that as of Thursday afternoon they had received only 750 completed mail ballots from Craig voters. While that number was expected to increase as additional ballots were collected Friday, officials acknowledged they would like to see better turnout.
Craig's municipal election is being conducted exclusively by mail ballot. The Clerk and Recorder's Office, which is helping the city of Craig conduct the election, sent out 3,984 mail ballots last week. Ballots were sent only to active voters — those who participated in November's general election.
However, the election is open to all 6,204 registered Craig voters, said Stephanie Beckett, elections supervisor for Moffat County. Anyone who didn't receive a ballot in the mail can stop by the Clerk and Recorder's Office during normal business hours Monday and Tuesday to get one. Voters must bring a valid form of identification in order to receive a ballot up to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Residents who are not already registered to vote in the city of Craig cannot participate in the City Council and mayoral election.
Completed ballots can be dropped in ballot boxes at Craig City Hall and the Moffat County Courthouse as late as 7 p.m. Tuesday. Any ballots not turned in by 7 p.m., however, will not be counted. Although election officials say they will stop by the post office at closing time Tuesday for any ballots that were returned by mail, they recommend that residents use either of the two drop boxes instead.
This year's election features candidates vying for mayor and City Council seats. Incumbent Terry Carwile faces current councilman Ray Beck for the mayoral position. A total of six residents are running for council — incumbents Byron Willems, Jennifer Riley and Gene Bilodeau, and newcomers Leland Ray (John) Smith, Tony Bohrer and Jarrod Ogden.
The top three vote-getters in the council race will be elected. However, if Beck wins the mayoral contest, his council seat will be vacant, allowing the candidate with the fourth most votes to also be appointed to council. If Carwile wins the mayoral race, Beck will retain his council seat.
To learn more about the candidates and their stances on local issues, check out the March 25 and March 27 editions of the Craig Daily Press, which featured extensive Q-and-A write-ups with each candidate. Those interviews also are available at CraigDailyPress.com/election.
For more information about the election and how to cast a ballot, call Beckett at 970-824-9120.