Election Day is Tuesday, and Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico and her staff and volunteers have been busy preparing for voting at six polling places from Battlement Mesa to Carbondale.
As of Friday afternoon, the county clerk's office had received 12,575 mail-in ballots of the 19,068 sent out, and another 1,830 people took advantage of early voting, which ended Friday. With a total of 27,883 potential voters in Garfield County, the turnout as of Friday afternoon had already reached 52 percent.
Alberico has two key pieces of advice for voters today who still have their mail-in ballots:
• Do use a blue or black ink pen to mark your votes. Do not use a pencil or felt tipped pen.
• Don't try to mail a ballot today, because it won't arrive in time to be counted.
Today, voters who are ready to turn in their mail-in ballots can drop them off at any of these six locations, which are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
• Parachute Town Hall, 222 Grand Valley Way
• Rifle: Garfield County Clerk's Office, 144 E. Third St. (not at the Human Services Building)
• Silt Town Hall, 231 N. Seventh St.
• New Castle Town Hall, 450 W. Main St.
• Glenwood Springs: Garfield County Courthouse, 109 Eighth St., Suite 200
• Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave.
There's also an extended hours drop-off in Glenwood Springs, open 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today at the east entrance to the Garfield County Courthouse, 109 Eighth St. It's a quick-drop spot; voters do not need to go through courthouse security.
Election Day mail-in ballots
On Election Day, mail-in ballots can be dropped at several places, but be aware that some will close earlier than others:
• The six community polling places from Battlement Mesa to Carbondale, open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• The Garfield County clerk's office in Glenwood Springs, 109 Eighth St., and the Garfield County Human Services Building in Rifle, 195 W. 14th St., open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Town halls in Parachute, Silt and New Castle, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Carbondale Town Hall doubles as the community polling place, and will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
• Glenwood Springs drive-up ballot drop station, along Eighth Street between the courthouse and City Hall, open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. A member of the clerk's staff will be standing at the curb collecting ballots from motorists and placing them in a ballot box, so voters don't need to park.
Lost or spoiled mail-in ballots
Voters who have already requested and received a mail-in ballot, but who have misplaced the ballot or spoiled it with an incorrect vote or a spilled cup of coffee, can request a replacement ballot today or Tuesday. Requests must be made in person at the clerk's offices in Glenwood Springs or Rifle.
Alberico cautions mail-in voters who don't have their ballot against simply showing up at a polling place on Tuesday.
Those who do so will be given a provisional ballot, which won't be counted until several days after the election. The clerk's staff must first make sure the mail-in ballot has not been cast before approving the provisional ballot.