Aspen City Council discusses voter-registration rules
September 11, 2012
ASPEN – A Pitkin County official spoke during Monday’s Aspen City Council meeting in order to inform the public about the Nov. 6 election and upcoming voter-registration deadlines.
Dwight Shellman III, the county’s elections manager, said the registration deadline to be eligible to vote in the fall election is Oct. 9. That date applies to people 18 or older who are not currently registered to vote in the state.
Those who are registered to vote in the state, but in a different county, can change their official addresses after Oct. 9, allowing them to vote in the county where their new residence is located, he said.
“We expect really large volumes in this election,” Shellman said. “It would really help us if people would attend to this earlier rather than later.”
He said mail-in ballots will be mailed to the county’s “domestic” voters – those who are not temporarily overseas or in a different country – on Oct. 15. The last day for voters to apply for a mail-in ballot that will be mailed to their homes is Oct. 30. The last day for voters to apply for a mail-in ballot that would be picked up at the county’s administration building at 530 E. Main St. is Nov. 2, Shellman said.
On weekdays in the two weeks running up to the week of the Nov. 6 election, Oct. 22 through Nov. 2, voters can cast their ballots early in the county’s administration building, he said. On Election Day, at various voting spots around the county, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for those who plan to cast their ballots in person.
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Voters who will be out of the country on Nov. 6 were reminded to go to the “voter resources” tab on the county’s elections website, http://www.pitkinvotes.org, to download a “federal postcard application,” a form that has to be filled out and emailed, faxed or mailed back to the county’s elections office.
“If the overseas voters have a valid Colorado driver’s license or state-issued ID, they can also apply for an overseas ballot, using the online voter-registration system, and there are links to that on our website,” Shellman said.
He said his office likely will start sending out overseas ballots on Sept. 21.
“We actually have the ability to send overseas ballots by mail, by email, by fax,” he said. “The voter can return the overseas ballots by mail, email or fax.”
Those return options only apply to overseas voters or those outside the country, not domestic voters, Shellman said.
The Nov. 6 election features not only the presidential race but also local tax-increase proposals to raise money for the Aspen School District and a Pitkin County Library addition. Other races include the contests for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and state House District 61.
For more information about voting rules and deadlines, contact the county’s elections office at 970-429-2713 or visit http://www.pitkinvotes.org.
In other business:
• Council members voted 5-0 to accept a recent decision of the Historic Preservation Commission regarding a change of plans for the Jewish Community Center’s new construction project. The commission voted 4-3 to allow a free-standing “parsonage” – a home for the center’s rabbi and his family – to be built on the eastern half of the center’s property at 435 W. Main St. Concerns about the parsonage centered on whether it would obscure the view of historic cabins that will remain on the property. The overall parsonage project still faces a City Council review in the near future.
• The council authorized city staff to proceed with bond financing to raise $5.4 million for several proposed parks and open space projects. The initiatives include Wagner Park improvements, a Galena Plaza refurbishment, the city’s share of the Droste open space purchase, replacement of the Bob Helm Bridge over Maroon Creek, a new restroom facility at Rio Grande Park and more.
The council holds regular meetings on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Last night’s meeting was one of the shortest of the year, lasting around 75 minutes. Following the meeting, council members went into an executive session with City Attorney Jim True to discuss pending litigation, the nature of which was not disclosed.