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Voters casting their ballots early

John Colson

The election has officially kicked off, and nearly 50 Pitkin County residents had already cast their ballots by noon yesterday during the first day of early voting.

Pitkin County Clerk Silvia Davis said her office has distributed “close to a thousand” absentee ballots, perhaps signaling a high voter turnout for this year’s general election.

Davis, who expected people would take a long time to ponder over the exceptionally long ballot, said voters are so far not spending much time in the voting booth. Early voting is taking place in the Courthouse Plaza building on Main Street, next to the county courthouse.

“We thought we’d have a problem of people taking a long time in the booth,” she said. “But everyone is very prepared.”

Davis said her office has been encouraging callers to come in and vote early this year, rather than take out an absentee ballot, because “absentee ballots are very labor intensive.”

There are 14 voting booths, featuring ballots tailored to voters in certain precincts, in the Pitkin County Commissioners meeting room at the back of the building.

Early voting and absentee voting will continue through Friday, Nov. 3, and will not be conducted on Monday, Nov. 6, the day before the election.

Davis is also encouraging residents to fill out a sample ballot before coming in to vote to help speed up the process, although she said her office will not enforce the 10-minute time limit for voting “unless there is a line and people start backing up.” Downvalley voters Roaring Fork Valley residents who live within Eagle County can do their early voting at the county clerk’s annex in El Jebel, located at 225 El Jebel Road, behind the old fire station. The office hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Anyone with questions about their voter registration, or about absentee ballots, can call 1-800-225-6136, or 970-328-8715. Anyone needing an absentee ballot must either have access to a fax machine or be able to go to the clerk’s office to pick up their ballot.

In Garfield County, early voting is at either the Garfield County Courthouse, 109 Eighth Street, Suite 302, in Glenwood Springs, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.; or at the Rifle Annex, 902 Taugenbaugh, Rifle, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.


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