Pitkin County ballot snafu an easy fix
October 7, 2014
With Election Day less than a month away, Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder Janice Vos Caudill gave a final update on the voting timeline to the county commissioners Tuesday.
Vos Caudill also informed the commissioners of a mistake with Ballot Issue 1A, concerning the Aspen Ambulance District request to have its mill levy increased.
The ambulance district is a separate area outside Pitkin County. Only ballots that come from registered voters who live in the ambulance district count toward ambulance district issues. On the current ballot, the ambulance district vote was printed on all ballots within Pitkin County.
"We regret that this may cause confusion," Vos Caudill said. "But we have systems in place where we can assure that the race will have an accurate outcome."
There are 10 precincts in Pitkin County, and those boundaries will help dictate which ballots count toward the ambulance district. Each ballot has a precinct number on the envelope and can be segregated to confirm which ballots concern the ambulance district.
Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock said Vos Caudill already confirmed her plan with the Secretary of State's Office.
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"It's actually an easy fix to make sure we get the right ballots counted," Peacock said. "The state agreed, and we're confident we're on track for an accurate count in the ambulance district."
Vos Caudill requested the state send someone to Pitkin County during the week leading up to Nov. 4 to monitor the ambulance district voting process.
If voters are curious which districts they qualify to vote in, they can find that information at http://www.pitkinvotes.com. There's an orange icon for online voter registration that leads to a statewide voter-registration system. Once a person enters their name, ZIP code and birthdate, a host of voting information appears, including your registration info, your county info and voting locations and the districts you're eligible to vote in.
"We encourage people to access PitkinVotes.com," Vos Caudill said. "We put together a voter tool kit that has just about all the information you need to vote and more."
Vos Caudill also reiterated the final few weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 election, pointing out what materials voters should have received and what's still to come.
This week, the local Taxpayers Bill of Rights, or TABOR, notice was sent out via the Postal Service. The notice contains information on the Aspen Ambulance District request for an increase to the district mill levy and the two Town of Basalt ballot issues concerning lodging and marijuana taxes. The pamphlet breaks down each issue and offers pro and con comments. On the three current issues, only the pros concerning a favorable vote for the ambulance district were submitted.
Residents should have already received the state TABOR notice, a blue pamphlet that was sent on Sept. 29.
On Oct. 13, mail ballots will be sent out to all active county voters. An active voter is someone who voted in the last general election or either registered or updated their registration information since the last general election. Voters that are inactive are still eligible to vote; they need to visit a voting service and polling location to update their voting information. Pitkin County currently has 11,939 active voters.
"If people still have questions about the upcoming election, we're encouraging them to give us a call," Vos Caudill said. "Our elections number is 970-429-2713. We're happy to help in any way we can."
In order to vote, you must be a Colorado resident for at least 22 days. An individual can register to vote with paper registration through a voter-registration drive, online or in person with different deadlines for all three techniques. A paper registration must be received by Oct. 13, 22 days before the election.
A person can register online at http://www.pitkinvotes.com, by mail or at a registration agency up to eight days before an election, or Oct. 27 this year, and the Clerk's Office will send them a ballot.
Finally, a person can register to vote in person at the Clerk's Office or any voter service and polling center on the day of the election.