Over 1,000 Summit County residents have cast early ballots ahead of municipal elections Tuesday

Rachel Bender of Silverthorne studies her ballot Nov. 2, 2021.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

Tuesday, April 5, marks municipal elections for towns across Summit County, and over 1,000 residents have already taken advantage of mailed ballots to avoid long lines on Election Day.

For this election, county staff will help with counting ballots for the municipal elections in Frisco, Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Dillon and Blue River.

In Silverthorne, almost 12% of the town’s registered voters had turned in their ballots by Monday afternoon, according to Town Clerk Angie VanSchoick. She said that although this is her first time overseeing an election in Silverthorne, this turnout seems to be a good sign, since municipal elections tend to have much lower turnout rates.

“Right now, we’ve had 416 votes that have been accepted for counting,” VanSchoick said. “Today, we picked up about 130 (votes) between the post office and the drop box, so we got 130 more that we didn’t have before. I think a lot of people are dropping them off so they don’t have to come in person, but we’ve also gotten a lot returned from the post office — like ones that aren’t deliverable.”

VanSchoick said that for residents who are registered to vote in town but didn’t receive their ballot, it is recommended to stop by Silverthorne Town Hall in order to get a replacement ballot.

In Silverthorne, seven candidates are vying for three seats on the town council. In addition to council seats, Silverthorne residents will also decide on a ballot question about the town’s current lodging tax. On the ballot issue, voters will decide whether to raise lodging taxes from 2% to 6%. Silverthorne has not voted to change the lodging tax since 1998, and ballot language allows for the funds to be spent “for any lawful municipal purpose.” The mayor’s election is uncontested.

Vanessa Agee, spokesperson for the town of Frisco, said that as of Monday, April 4, just over 550 ballots had been received to be counted, which is typical for municipal elections that have only town-related candidates and ballot questions.

Like Silverthorne, Frisco residents will also decide on a potential tax increase in their town. Specifically, this ballot question asks voters if the town should levy a 5% excise tax on the cost of short-term rentals. This would raise the taxes applied to short-term rentals by 5% — from 10.725% to 15.725%.

Breckenridge voters are showing the same trend. Helen Cospolich, town clerk and director of municipal services, wrote in an email that it was too early to decide whether the 2022 municipal election might have higher or lower turnout compared with other with municipal election years, but several hundred Breckenridge residents had already cast their ballots before Election Day.

“As of 1 p.m. … April 4, we had 823 ballots received,” Cospolich wrote.

In Breckenridge, nine council candidates are running for three seats on the town council. The top three candidates will serve on the council for four-year terms.

Dillon and Blue River also have municipal elections Tuesday. In Dillon, there are three open seats on town council with five candidates vying for those spots. Blue River has three open seats on its Board of Trustees.

Ballots for all municipal elections are due by 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, whether they are dropped off into ballot boxes or filled out in person at respective town halls.

Ballot drop-off locations

Blue River: Town Hall, 110 Whispering Pines Circle

Breckenridge: Town Hall, 150 Ski Hill Road

Dillon: Town Hall, 275 Lake Dillon Drive

Frisco: Town Hall, 1 E. Main St.

Silverthorne: North Branch Library, 651 Center Circle, or Silverthorne Town Hall, 601 Center Circle

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