Aspen post office to deliver ballots without proper postage |

Aspen post office to deliver ballots without proper postage

Vote early

The Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder is asking voters to return ballots as soon as possible. All voters should have mail-in ballots by now, which can be dropped off at the following locations:

• Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, 501 E. Hyman Ave., in the Ute City Building in Aspen, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• There are permanent ballot drop boxes with 24/7 surveillance at the entrance to Snowmass Town Hall, 130 Kearns Rd., Snowmass, and at the parking lot of Basalt Town Hall, 101 Midland Ave., Basalt.

• Aspen Jewish Community Center, 435 W. Main St., Aspen, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Grace Church, 1776 Emma Rd., Basalt, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day only for drop-off ballots.

• The Church at Redstone, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day only for drop-off ballots.

To mail your ballot, affix two stamps and mail to Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, 501 E. Hyman Ave., Aspen, CO 81611. Postmarks do not county — all ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 8.

A local attorney who recently sent in her election ballot with only one stamp worried earlier this week that her vote might not be counted.

“What am I going to do?” said the lawyer, who declined to be identified publicly. “There’s not time for it to come back and be resent.”

Not to worry, said Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder Janice Vos Caudill.

That’s because she has worked out an arrangement with local postal authorities to deliver any ballots without the proper amount of postage to the clerk’s office, Vos Caudill said.

“We sat down with the postmaster and they will do their best to forward them, but we’re on the hook for the extra postage,” she said.

The envelopes containing the mailed ballots do not feature specific instructions advising voters to use two stamps because local authorities had to order them months ago, before they knew how big the ballot would be, Vos Caudill said.

As of Tuesday night, 1,531 ballots had been received by the clerk’s office through the mail and through drop-off boxes at Snowmass Village Town Hall and Basalt Town Hall, she said. The Basalt drop-off is done in collaboration with Eagle County authorities and has been approved by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, Vos Caudill said.

This is the first presidential election to feature mail-in ballots. Voters also can cast votes in person now through Nov. 8 at the Aspen Jewish Community Center, 435 W. Main St., she said.

As an aside, Vos Caudill also warned voters that it is illegal under Colorado law to disseminate any images of a filled-out ballot. For example, taking a picture of a voter’s completed ballot and posting it on Facebook as proof of voting prowess is a misdemeanor that could carry up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine, according to Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office.

“There are no selfies (allowed) in the voting booth,” Vos Caudill said. “It’s illegal to show the content of a ballot anywhere.”

However, earlier this week, state Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, filed a federal lawsuit against Williams, a Republican, and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, also a Republican, challenging that law. Hill is asking a judge to declare the law unconstitutional, according to an article earlier this week in The Denver Post.

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