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Solving last-minute voting problems

Phillip Yates
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Election Day is looming, and some small problems have been cropping up for local voters. Here is a short list of some of the issues facing local residents and how they may solve them.

The first concern some residents have is whether they are properly registered.

Jean Alberico, Garfield County’s clerk and recorder, said the first resource voters can check to make sure they are all set to vote is the Colorado Secretary of State’s website. On the main page at the site, available at http://www.sos.state.co.us, there is a link within the Election Center to verify voter/ballot status.



Secondly, any voter who has a question about their status can also call the county clerk and recorder office at 945-2377, ext. 1760, Alberico said.

In situations where a person has requested a mail-in ballot, the county clerk has sent one out, but the voter has not yet received it, he or she still has to vote by mail. In that situation, the voter can go into the Garfield County Clerk and Recorder’s Office in Glenwood Springs or Rifle. Once the problem is solved, the county staff can issue a new ballot.



“We can even do that on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” she said. “(The voter) can vote right here in the clerk’s office and deposit it in the ballot box.”

If that voter shows up at their polling place, records there will indicate he or she is a mail-in voter. Election judges will allow that person to vote, but the voter will have to be a provisional ballot.

“We have to verify the other ballot hasn’t been returned before we can count that ballot,” she said.

Alberico said there were about four or five people who came to the Garfield County Courthouse on Tuesday to cast an early vote, but they were not in the county’s system. The voters then went to the clerk’s office, where staff did research and found that voters had moved to Garfield County from another area and had not changed their address in a timely fashion.

“So we complete what is called an emergency registration,” Alberico said. “We get that information entered into the computer, and they went back downstairs and voted.”

The office will do those emergency registrations during the office’s normal business hours on Friday and Monday and then 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Another problem Alberico said has come up is where voters have registered several years ago and haven’t cast a ballot in recent elections. That resulted in the cancellation of the voter in county records for failing to vote. If those people come to vote on Nov. 4, there is a reinstatement process that must follow, she said.

“We have to do some research and verify that they have not moved out of Garfield County since the last time they voted and we can reinstate them,” Alberico said. “We have done several of those.”

Alberico added there have been 100 people affected by incomplete registrations ” often where people didn’t check a box, or that they didn’t have a driver’s license or missed some other information.

“We have notified them by mail, but they can come in and fix what is wrong,” she said. “We will immediately get them registered to vote.”

Alberico said early voting shuts down at 5 p.m. today. After that, the only people who can vote on Monday are those confronting an emergency situation, like an illness or a death in the family that occurred after today’s deadline. Voters in that situation will cast an emergency absentee ballot.

For Election Day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117

pyates@postindependent.com

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO


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