Colorado state primary election is just around the corner
Garfield County Voter Service/Polling centers starting June 22
• County Administration Building (Commissioner’s meeting room), 108 Eighth St., Room 100 Glenwood Springs.
• Rifle County Administration Building (first floor conference room), 195 W. 14th St., Rifle
* These sites will be open from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday-Friday, June 22-29; 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, June 29; and 7 a.m.–7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, June 30.
Additional Election Day voter service and polling place
• Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave., Carbondale, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. June 30
Colorado voters will be deciding later this month which of the candidates in contested primary races for statewide and regional elected offices they would prefer advance to the Nov. 3 general election.
Registered voters had until Monday to switch party affiliation or declare as an unaffiliated voter in order to keep their options open for the June 30 primary election.
Voters currently registered as a Democrat, Republican or Libertarian will only receive that party’s primary ballot when they are mailed out the week of June 8, Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico said.
Unaffiliated voters will receive both a Republican and Democratic ballot, and must choose which one to complete and return by primary election day. However, unaffiliated voters will not receive a Libertarian ballot unless they specifically requested one prior to the Monday deadline, she said.
This will be the third Colorado election in which unaffiliated voters can participate in the party primary elections, following voter approval of open primaries in 2016. The most recent was the presidential primary election in March.
In the June 30 primary, voters will decide on party nominees for several key statewide and regional offices that will be up for election in November. Contested primary races include:
• For the 3rd Congressional District seat, on the Republican ballot incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton of Cortez faces challenger Lauren Boebert of Rifle; and on the Democratic ballot, former Routt County commissioner and state representative Diane Mitsch Bush of Steamboat Springs faces businessman James Iacino of Montrose.
• There are two contested primary races for the Colorado Senate District 8 seat, between incumbent state Sen. Bob Rankin of Carbondale and Debra Irvine of Breckenridge on the Republican ballot; and, for the Democrats, between Glenwood Springs attorney Karl Hanlon and former Eagle County commissioner Arn Menconi.
• On the statewide Democratic Party ballot for U.S. Senate, former Gov. John Hickenlooper and former state Rep. Andrew Romanoff are vying for the party’s nomination to face incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in November.
• And, two Libertarian candidates are also vying for the nomination to run for U.S. Senate in the November election, Gaylon Kent and Raymon Anthony Doane.
Alberico reminds voters that, if they receive two primary ballots in the mail, they may only complete and return one ballot.
In the first primary election that allowed unaffiliated voters to participate in 2018, she said that 167 Garfield County voters returned two completed ballots, meaning neither counted. In the March presidential primary, she said 291 voters sent back both ballots.
For the June 30 primary election, she said the return envelope will include a note in large red letters, “Choose one, Vote one, Return one.”
Ballots will be sent to all registered voters in Garfield County the week of June 8. June 22 is the last day for eligible voters who are not registered to submit a voter registration application and still receive a mailed ballot. Voters may register or change voter registration information at http://www.govotecolorado.gov
Ongoing public health orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak in Colorado will also change how many in-person polling places and voter service centers will be available in the lead-up to the primary election, Alberico said.
Many of the smaller libraries in the county cannot be used because there is not enough space for the required social distancing, she said.
“The city of Glenwood has not been able to tell me if the Community Center will be open by June 30,” Alberico said of another location that she typically has established as a Voter Service and Polling Center (VSPC).
“The Secretary of State has asked counties to only set up the required number of VSPCs determined by the number of active registered voters in the county,” she said. As a result, Garfield County is only required to have three VSPCs open on Election Day, where normally there would be seven.
The primary county Clerk and Recorder offices also are not to be used for voting centers, Alberico said.
So, between June 22–30, in-person early voting will take place at the Glenwood Springs and Rifle County Administration Buildings, Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, June 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Election Day, June 30, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mail ballot drop-off locations have also been changed because some town halls that have been used in the past may still not be open to the public, Alberico said.
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Diane Mitsch Bush was defeated by incumbent Scott Tipton in 2018 for the 3rd Congressional District seat. Mitsch Bush is running again as the Democratic candidate but this time against Republican political newcomer Lauren Boebert.