City of Aspen officials suggest walking in ballots
With less than a week to go before ballots are counted in the March 5 election, city of Aspen officials said people’s votes may not count if they are using snail mail from this point on.
“I cannot say exactly with confidence what the last day to mail (ballots) would be given the United States Postal Service’s records,” said City Attorney Jim True on Monday when asked by Mayor Steve Skadron when the last day to mail ballots in was. “If we receive a ballot after 7 p.m. Tuesday, it will not count and that’s the key.”
The safe bet for voters is to walk their ballots into the City Clerk’s Office on the second floor of City Hall on Galena Street.
“I wouldn’t trust the mail at this point,” said Deputy City Clerk Nicole Henning.
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Mail goes through Grand Junction before reaching a final destination in Aspen even if it’s mailed in Aspen and is going to a local address.
That’s coupled with staffing shortages at the Aspen post office, city officials said.
David Rupert, acting manager for the western area corporate communications for the U.S. Post Office, said voters’ ballots will arrive in time if they mail by Friday.
“Yes, it will get there,” he said Tuesday, adding that mail gets trucked to Grand Junction the day after it’s sent and is processed there and comes back by the third day. “We are moving the mail.”
He couldn’t say whether the local post office is short staffed but added that it is not a unique employer in Aspen.
“Like every other business in Aspen, we are hiring,” he said, adding there’s been budget approval to add staff into the summer.
Henning said several individuals who have P.O. Boxes at the Aspen post office who have not received their ballots have contacted her.
Anyone who has not received their ballot should go to the City Clerk’s Office with identification and they can vote there.
“With the way things are going at the post office, come here and vote. … We have a station for in-person voting,” Henning said.
Councilwoman Ann Mullins reminded people during Monday’s council meeting to be nice to postal carriers because they are working overtime.
If people want to vote in person on Election Day, that can be done in council chambers in the basement of City Hall.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Clerk’s Office had received 972 ballots.
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