Very few election ballots returned so far |

Very few election ballots returned so far

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

In a county with a population of close to 50,000, only a few thousand have voted so far for the Nov. 6 election.Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico said that about 3,000 ballots had been received as of Thursday afternoon, and she estimated the end of the day would see maybe another 500 ballots more.”I think we’re going to end up with maybe a 25 to 30 percent turnout of active voters,” she said.Alberico said it does seem like a fairly low turnout. Other mail ballot elections have seen a 40 to 45 percent turnout, she added.She was unsure if most people were interested in school board races or city council elections, virtually the only thing on the ballot this time.”I think they’re predicting a low turnout statewide because there’s no statewide issues, no countywide issues,” she said.But Alberico encourages people to vote. She said it’s important because voting elects people who make decisions that directly affect things like schools and city government.Ballots were mailed out to around 20,000 active voters. People who haven’t received one can still contact the clerk and recorder’s office to vote unless they’ve never registered in Colorado before.Alberico said about 1,900 ballots have come back undeliverable – meaning those people probably moved. Of those, 700 notification letters have been sent to forwarding addresses, but many of the people didn’t leave forwarding addresses with the post office. The law prevents the post office from forwarding the ballot itself, Alberico said.She said a surprising number of people also have returned ballots without signing the voter affirmation on the outside of the envelope. Letters have also been sent out about that, and voters have eight days after the Nov. 6 election to come in and sign the envelopes.Alberico said ballots should be mailed out no later than Friday or Saturday in time for post offices to send them out Saturday. Ballots must be received, not merely postmarked, by Nov. 6. Ballots can be dropped off at city halls in Parachute, Silt, New Castle and Carbondale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Monday and Tuesday.Ballots can also be dropped off at the clerk’s office at the Glenwood Springs courthouse and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Monday and Tuesday. The Rifle branch office accepts them until 4:30 p.m., but on the Nov. 6 election day, both offices are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There’s also a Help America Vote Act accessible voting machine available for anyone at the Glenwood Springs office.Call 945-2377 extensions 1770 or 1780 for more information.Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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