Garco election suffers ballot glitch
October 24, 2007
GARFIELD COUNTY ” A few of the nearly 20,000 mail-in ballots mailed to voters last week for the Nov. 6 Garfield County election had return envelopes that were not properly addressed.
“The ballot vendor sent a number of the ballots for residents in Rifle, Silt and New Castle without the (Garfield County Clerk and Recorder’s Office) address on the return envelope,” said a news release from the clerk’s office. “Unfortunately, these ballots were sent to us already sealed and a small number were mailed before we caught the error. We did open the outside envelope and stamp the return address on the majority of these ballots.”
County Clerk Jean Alberico said via telephone that only about 140 ballots of 935 going to Rifle, Silt and New Castle slipped through the cracks without a return address.
“It was just a confusion on the order between me and the printer and the number of ballots that were needed to go with the envelopes we were ordering,” she said.
People with those ballots are asked to write in the return address: Garfield County Clerk and Recorder, 109 Eighth Street #200, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.
But it shouldn’t be a problem.
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Alberico said her office has notified the Secretary of State and alerted local postmasters about the matter. Even if people have unknowingly sent back the ballots without writing in a return address, the postal service will send them to the clerk’s office, she added.
Ballots have been trickling in, but the office hasn’t seen a lot of them yet.
“It hasn’t been a huge response so far,” Alberico said.
Alberico wants people to know that most can probably still vote even if they haven’t received a ballot. She said the only people who can’t register and receive a ballot are those who have moved from out of state or haven’t ever registered in Colorado and didn’t register by Oct. 9.
“More than anything I’m wanting people to understand that if they didn’t get a ballot and if they moved, even though we’re past the deadline to register to vote, there are many options to participate in the election,” Alberico said.
Inactive voters and voters who have moved from other counties can undergo emergency procedures to get registered and get a ballot. Visit the clerk’s office or call 945-2377 extensions 1830 or 1770 for more information.
The ballots have no county, state or federal questions. The election will decide the Glenwood Springs City Council race and five school board races, plus some ballot questions for Glenwood Springs, Parachute and DeBeque.
A Help America Vote Act accessible walk-in voting site is also available in the clerk’s office in the Glenwood Springs courthouse building for any voter to use.
The clerk’s office will begin counting the ballots on Oct. 29. Initial results will be made public Nov. 6 shortly after 7 p.m.