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Mail-in voting is old hat in Colorado

Locations: News Published

Voting has begun in Colorado. Ballots were sent out to registered voters on Oct. 9. 

Not yet registered? Not to worry. In Colorado you can register and vote through Election Day.

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Hoping to avoid voting in person? Make sure to register and request your mail-in ballot by Oct. 26. After that date you’ll need to visit a voter service and polling center to obtain a ballot.

Despite national political noise about mail-in voting providing an opportunity for voter fraud, the data doesn’t back up those claims. In recent testimony to congress, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated, “We have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise.” 

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Additionally, when it comes to Colorado’s system, Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico noted that, “In March of 2018, the Pew Foundation reported that Colorado was the safest place in the country to vote. Mainly because there is a paper ballot for every voter and none of our voting systems, by statute, are connected to the internet.”

In response to the pandemic, many states have been scrambling to implement a mail-in voter system for the first time. Colorado’s current mail-ballot and same-day registration system has been in place since 2013, a system that has been regularly held up as a national model for high voter registration and turnout.

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“Voting in Colorado is safe, secure, and accessible…” said Secretary of State Jena Griswold in a recent press release. “Since 2018, across Colorado, drop boxes have increased by 55 percent and 42 voting centers have been added, enabling more Coloradans to have easy access to voting.” 

This year, with rumors swirling about the USPS, and mail service slowed by the pandemic, some voters aren’t sure they can count on timely delivery of their ballots. According to the Colorado Secretary of State, voters should return their ballot by drop box or voting center after Oct. 26, to ensure their ballots are received by the 7 p.m. Nov. 3 deadline. Postmarks do not count.

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According to Garfield County Clerk and Recorder, Jean Alberico, “approximately 30 to 40 percent of all ballots voted and returned for an election come in on election day.” This large number of ballots takes time to process, particularly in a pandemic year where ballot processing staff need to social distance. Alberico’s hope is that more voters will return their ballots early this year, so her team can keep up with processing.

Anxious to know you’ve voted successfully? All Colorado voters can track their ballots by signing up for BallotTrax at GoVoteColorado.gov.

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And for those who prefer to vote in person, early voting centers open Oct. 19 with additional voting centers available on Nov. 3.

How to vote

Garfield County
Early voting drop boxes
Carbondale Town Hall – near the front entrance – 511 Colorado Ave.
Garfield County Courthouse – on 8th St. – 109 8th St.
Early and election day voting center
Glenwood Springs Community Center – use west entrance
Election day only voting center
Carbondale Town Hall
More info at garfield-county.com/clerk-recorder/elections

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Pitkin County

Early voting drop boxes
Town of Basalt – 101 Midland Ave.
Carbondale Town Hall* – near the front entrance – 511 Colorado Ave.
*This is a GarCo dropbox, but ballots will be transferred
Election day only drop boxes
The Church of Redstone – 0213 Redstone Blvd.
Early and election day voting center
Aspen Jewish Community Center – 435 W. Main St.
Election day only voting center
Basalt Regional Library- 14 Midland Ave. Basalt
More info at pitkinvotes.com/election-information

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Eagle County
Early voting drop boxes
Town of Basalt – 101 Midland Ave.
El Jebel Clerk and Recorder’s Office- 20 Eagle County Dr.
Early and election day voting center
El Jebel Clerk and Recorder’s Office – 20 Eagle County Dr.
More info at eaglecounty.us/Clerk/Voting_and_Elections/Upcoming_Elections/

When to vote

Oct. 19: If you haven’t received your ballot, please contact your Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
Oct. 26: The deadline to register or update your registration and receive a ballot in the mail.
Oct. 26: Last advised day to return a ballot through the mail. After this date, voters should return their ballot to a drop box or vote center.
Nov. 3: You can register and vote in person up to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on election day. Postmarks do not count.

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