Down to the final two days of voting, 62% of Garfield County voters have already cast ballots | PostIndependent.com
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Down to the final two days of voting, 62% of Garfield County voters have already cast ballots

Final Election Day information, and six fun facts about local elections

Post Independent Garfield County elections graphic

With two days left to cast ballots in Tuesday’s presidential, state and local elections, a total of 22,591 Garfield County residents have already voted, representing a more than 62% turnout so far, according to balloting data reported to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

Statewide, as of Saturday, 2,436,584 ballots had been cast, representing almost 65% of Colorado voters. Of those, 70,091 electors have chosen to cast their ballots in person.

And, breaking down the balloting to date by voter registration, 36.5% were from unaffiliated voters, 34% from Democrats and 27% from Republicans.

According to Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico, as of Friday, since early voting began Oct. 19, there had been 395 in-person voters at the Rifle Voter Service and Polling Center (VSPC) and 252 in-person voters at the Glenwood Community Center VSPC.

Thus far, letters have been sent to 120 Garfield County voters because of ballot discrepancies, including 11 voters who did not return an acceptable form of ID when their return ballot envelope was marked ID REQUIRED and 14 voters who returned ballots with no signature on the return envelope. Signature verification judges have rejected 95 ballots for a signature discrepancy, Alberico said.

Voters with ballot discrepancies have until eight days after the election to cure ballots so that their votes can count.

Voters can cast their ballots at the following locations until 7 p.m. on Tuesday:

Garfield County 24/7 ballot drop-box locations

Carbondale Town Hall: near front entrance – 511 Colorado Ave., Carbondale

Garfield County Courthouse: Eighth Street side – 109 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs

New Castle Town Hall: near front entrance – 450 W. Main St., New Castle

Silt Town Hall: near front entrance – 231 N. Seventh St., Silt

Garfield County Admin Bldg. #D: at front entrance – 195 W. 14th St., Rifle

Parachute Town Hall: near front entrance – 222 Grand Valley Way, Parachute

Voter Service and Polling Centers

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election Day (Tuesday)

Glenwood Springs Community Center, 100 Wulfsohn Road

Garfield County Fairgrounds, South Hall, 1001 Railroad Ave., Rifle.

* Additional Election Day Voter Service Center: Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave., open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

More information: (970) 384-3700, ext. 2

Source: Garfield County Clerk & Recorder’s
Office, Elections Division

Interesting election fun facts

We asked Clerk Alberico a few other interesting-fact Garfield County Elections questions, to which she provided the following responses:  

PI: What if someone casts their ballot early, then dies before Election Day. Do those votes get counted?

Alberico: Yes, (per Colorado law) the ballot is counted because either the voter has signed the affidavit on a mail-in ballot and that signature is verified as their signature or they appeared at a VSPC and voted in person before passing away. It’s happened before in this county.

PI: Even though we don’t have precinct polling places anymore, what are Garfield County’s largest and smallest precincts in terms of number of registered voters?

Alberico: Statute says the precincts should not be larger than 1,500 voters, but with approval from the Board of County Commissioners that number can be as high as 2,000 voters.

Precincts 1-5 (Carbondale, Aspen Glen and Westbank) have more than 1,700 voters but less than 1,800. The largest precinct currently is Precinct 10 (Glenwood Park East, Cardiff Glen, and the Four mile area) with 1,893 active voters.

Precincts 14, 15, and 16 (New Castle and Silt) all have just over 1,700 voters.  Precinct 24 (Parachute to the Utah state line) is the smallest precinct with 573 active voters.

PI: How soon can counties begin counting ballots in Colorado?

Alberico: Counties scan ballots daily to the statewide voter system as soon as we start getting voted ballots returned. Election law requires that this be done on a daily basis. Election law allows counties to start processing returned ballots 15 days prior to the election.

PI: How many people do you have working elections leading up to and on Election Day?

Alberico: Right now, there are 20 election judges working at the courthouse doing daily ballot pickup, verifying signatures, processing received ballots for scanning, and scanning ballots. There are 17 election judges working at the two early voting sites. On Election Day there will be 41 judges at the three VSPCs (Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Rifle). This number includes 30 adult election judges, 7 student judges and 4 of my staff members at the voter centers.

Before Colorado started sending ballots to all active voters in 2013, many more voters came to vote in person on Election Day. In 2012, which was a presidential election year, I had over 200 election judges. Now, I only need 60 to 70 judges for each election. 

PI: What’s the voter affiliation requirement when lining up election workers?

Alberico: I need to try and assign election judges equally between registered Republicans and Democrats. When the party caucuses are held in March of the even years, I get lists from both parties of voters who want to serve as election judges and I also reach out to the experienced election workers to see if they want to continue to work as an election judge. I have just about equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats assigned to the vote centers and the mail ballot processing. Unaffiliated voters can submit a letter to their county clerk 45 days prior to an election asking to be considered as an election judge. I do have a handful of unaffiliated voters that work as election judges.  

PI: What are the most interesting write-in votes you’ve ever come across?

Alberico: Write-in lines are only on ballots if there are actually certified write-in candidates for those races. If there is a space for a write-in, many voters just have to put something on that line. There are always votes for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Santa Claus … For the most recent Sheriff’s race (2018) that had a write-in candidate, there were votes for Barney Fife, Matt Dillon and Chester. There are also many write-ins for none of the above, anyone but, anyone else. Some voters write-in their own names.

jstroud@postindependent.com  


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