Missing ballots reflect inactive status of voters
Post Independent Staff
Darcy Campbell was scratching her head for the past week as she tried to figure out why some customers at her restaurant haven’t received ballots for the upcoming Silt election.
She said some customers at The Dish told her they were registered voters who lived within the town limits, but they haven’t received their mail-in ballots for the April 6 election.
Campbell is particularly interested in this year’s election because her 19-year-old son, Derrick Campbell, is running for Silt Town Council as a write-in candidate.
“I’ve had quite a few people who haven’t gotten their ballot, but others who got them weeks ago,” she said.
As it turns out, there’s a simple reason for this seeming lack of consistency.
Silt town clerk Sheila McIntyre said those Silt voters who are registered but didn’t receive ballots are most likely inactive voters. All voters who failed to cast a ballot in the 2003 election are classified as inactive.
“We mail ballots out to all active voters,” she said.
New Castle town clerk Lisa Cain said her town uses the same system.
“That’s pursuant to state election law,” she said.
But that doesn’t mean that inactive voters will be left out in the cold on election day.
“If someone’s a registered voter and didn’t get a ballot, they can come down to Town Hall, and we’ll give them a ballot and reactivate them,” Cain said.
The same request will work in Silt.
The rationale for this rule comes down to money.
Cain said many inactive voters are that way for a reason. Either they moved away, changed address or got rid of a post office box. By not sending inactive voters a ballot, the town saves money in printing costs and postage.
“But we’re not going to deny somebody the right to vote if they have that right,” Cain said.
Cain said ballots will be accepted until 7 p.m. on April 6.
“A postmark won’t count. It has to be in my hands by April 6,” Cain said.
There are elections in three Garfield County towns on April 6: Carbondale, New Castle and Silt.
Carbondale’s election is a poll election, meaning that people vote at their precinct on election day instead of getting ballots in the mail.
Parachute also planned to have an election on April 6, but there are four candidates running for four Parachute Board of Trustees seats, so town officials canceled the election.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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