Avoid lines on Nov. 7 | PostIndependent.com

Avoid lines on Nov. 7

With election day, Nov. 7, a scant two and a half weeks away, Garfield County Clerk Mildred Alsdorf is urging voters to use absentee ballots or to vote early to avoid long lines and waiting times at the polling places. The local ballot alone carries seven races for elected office and 12 ballot questions. State questions will include 13 candidate races and 15 ballot measures.Alsdorf said her office has processed more than 6,000 applications for absentee ballots already but would like to send out about 10,000. That would amount to a bit less than half the total 24,657 registered voters in the county. Of those, 6,153 are registered as Democrats, 8,785 as Republicans and 9,609 are registered as unaffiliated. In addition, there are 55 registered Green Party voters and 55 Libertarians, Alsdorf said.

Voters have until Oct. 31 to apply for an absentee ballot which is mailed to the voter. After Oct. 31 and until Nov. 3, voters wishing to receive an absentee ballot must come in person to the clerk and recorders office in the Garfield County Courthouse in Glenwood Springs to fill out an application and get a ballot.Absentee ballot application forms are available at the county clerk’s offices in Glenwood Springs and Rifle, and on line at http://www.garfield-county.com (click on “election”). Application forms are also available at the six county libraries.Ballot drop-off sites are located in the county courthouse in the foyer of the west entrance door. Alsdorf said the return box was set out just inside the door so people dropping off the ballots would not have to go through the security scanners that must be cleared to get into the building.Ballots can also be dropped off at the town clerk’s offices in Carbondale, Parachute and Rifle (see box).”Keep watch for them, we’re sending out as many as we can every day. Don’t forget to sign the envelope” on the absentee ballot, Alsdorf said.

If you like voting in person and want to get a jump on Election Day, early voting starts today, Oct. 23, and ends Friday, Nov. 3. There will be two early voting places open during that time, at the Garfield County Human Services Building at 195 14th St. in Rifle (across from City Market) and at the county courthouse in Glenwood Springs. Both places are open to registered voters no matter where they live.Voters will come in and fill out a signature card and then will vote on the county’s new electronic voting machines. The machines, called E-slates, offer screens on which the ballot is pictured. Using a wheel, the voter can scroll through the ballot and indicate his or her choice of candidate or ballot measure. The machines can also supply a paper tally record if requested.Alsdorf said people who prefer to vote on a paper ballot must either apply for an absentee ballot or vote in the Tuesday, Nov. 7, election at one of 10 county polling places.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 16605dgray@postindependent.com

Absentee ballot applications can be picked up on or before Oct. 31 at the following locations:• Garfield County Courthouse, 109 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs• Rifle County Clerk’s office, 144 E. Third St.Absentee ballots can be dropped off at the following locations:• Garfield County Courthouse, 109 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday• Rifle County Clerk’s office, 144 Third St., Rifle; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday• Carbondale Town Clerk’s office, Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave., Carbondale; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday• Parachute Town Clerk’s office, Town Hall, 222 Grand Valley Way, Parachute, 8 am. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Registered voters: 24,657 Republicans: 8,785Democrats: 6,153Unaffiliated: 9,609Green: 55Libertarian: 55

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