Garfield County clerk: Voters should return ballots in person |

Garfield County clerk: Voters should return ballots in person

Ryan Hoffman

Garfield County Voter Service, Polling Centers

Garfield County Clerk’s Offices

• Garfield County Courthouse in Glenwood Springs, 109 Eighth St., Suite 200

• County Administration Building in Rifle, 195 W. 14th St., Building D

Ballot drop-off sites

• Courthouse, east entrance

• Eighth Street, Glenwood Springs (available 24 hours a day)

• Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave.

• New Castle Town Hall, 450 W. Main St.

• Silt Town Hall, 231 N. Seventh St.

• Parachute Town Hall, 222 Grand Valley Way

Additional Election Day service centers

• Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave.

• Glenwood Springs Community Center, 100 Wulfsohn Road

• New Castle Branch Library, 402 Main St.

• Parachute Branch Library, 244 Grand Valley Way

• Silt Branch Library, 680 Home Ave.

With Election Day less than one week away, Garfield County voters are being instructed to avoid mailing their ballot and instead return it to one of the numerous drop-off locations in the county.

“I’d recommend that after today that nobody mail anything in and use one of the multitude of drop off sites that we have available,” Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico said Tuesday. Ballots received after 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, will not be counted, regardless of the postage date.

And with around two-thirds of mailed ballots unreturned, data from previous elections showing a large number of ballots returned on Election Day and a sizeable segment of the population who still prefer to vote in person, Alberico recommends voters try to get their ballot in before Election Day.

As of Tuesday evening 11,067 ballots had been received in Garfield County, according to numbers released Wednesday morning by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

“This is the first presidential election we’ve done this way and so we don’t know what kind of turnout we’re going to see.Jean AlbericoGarfield County Clerk

With this being the first presidential election since Colorado moved to mail ballot elections, there is a level of uncertainty on how the top of the ticket race will impact turnout and voters’ habits.

“This is the first presidential election we’ve done this way and so we don’t know what kind of turnout we’re going to see,” Alberico said.

Data from previous mail elections, including 2014 when the governor and other bigger ticket names and items were on the ballot, show that 30 to 40 percent of the total ballots were returned on Election Day, according to Alberico.

The clerk suspects that tend will continue this year.

Voters who have their ballots can return them to one of the two 24/7 drop boxes in the county — once located in Glenwood Springs outside the Garfield County Courthouse at 109 Eighth St., and the other located outside the new Rifle administration building at 195 W. 14th St. Building D.

Other drop off locations include town halls in Carbondale, New Castle, Parachute and Silt. Those locations operate under typical business hours Monday through Friday, with the exception of Parachute where the town hall is closed on Fridays. All those locations will be open this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For those who have not registered — in Colorado voters can register up until and on Election Day — and wish to do so, or those who need to update their address or conduct other election related business, such as voting electronically, Alberico recommends visiting one of the voter service centers sooner rather than latter.

Two voter service centers have been operating for nearly the past two weeks at the courthouse in Glenwood and administration building in Rifle during normal office hours. Those will continue operating through Election Day when additional voting centers will open.

In New Castle, Parachute and Silt those centers will operate at the library in town, while Carbondale’s voting service center will operate at Town Hall.

Also, an additional voting service center will open at the Glenwood Springs Community Center on Election Day. Anyone who needs to conduct election related businesses in Glenwood on Election Day should visit the community center, rather than the courthouse, Alberico said.

That is largely due to a lack of parking around the courthouse.

Also of note, residents do not have to use the voting service center in their town since all voting service centers are being supplied with ballots from each municipality that has local issues on the ballot this year.

Alberico said voters also should make sure to sign the voter affidavit that comes with their ballot, and avoid letting somebody else sign their ballot for them. Bipartisan election judges will be evaluating each signature to makes sure it matches signatures on file.

And for those helpful individuals, election laws limit a person from returning more than 10 ballots.

Additional election information, including a link to register to vote, can be found at the Garfield County Clerk and Recorder’s Office website.

Most importantly, Alberico repeated a reminder to avoid mailing ballots this close to the election.

“Don’t take the chance, drop your ballot off.”

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