Letter: Let’s use mail-in ballots and polling places | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Let’s use mail-in ballots and polling places

Mayor and Aspen City Council,

I am writing in regard to the recent decision to conduct an all-mail-in-ballot election, have one voting center and forgo the other two Election Day polling places.

After listening to the discussion at the Jan. 12 council meeting, I thought that there is a solution for accomplishing the shared goal of encouraging and assisting in voter accessibility and turnout.

Being that this is the first try at an all-mail-in ballot for a city election, why not do both and see what voters want? Mail a ballot to every city voter, and have the polling places. At the meeting it was stated that in the last election, one-third of the votes were cast at polling places. That is a lot, proving that many voters do vote on Election Day. It also was said that in the November countywide election, an all-mail-in election, turnout went up 5 percent. But that was a national midterm election, which probably increased turnout, not the mail-in ballots.

It may have a small cost and take worthwhile efforts, but please don’t limit voter access at this time. Eliminating the polling places also will have a negative effect on the process of campaigns, debates and informing voters.

I ask that you speak with the Clerk’s Office and reconsider to implement both mail-in ballots and polling places for May’s elections. Use this year to gain information as we continue to try and improve our election process and foster voter participation.