Pitkin County Clerk: The time to vote is now | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County Clerk: The time to vote is now

Janice K. Vos Caudill
Guest Column

To vote you must first be registered. An eligible elector must be a resident of Colorado for 22 days or more, a U.S. Citizen and 18 years old to vote by Nov. 8.

All active registered voters in Pitkin County were sent a mail ballot to their address on record on Monday, Oct. 17. Mail-in ballots will not be forwarded to another address by the U.S. Post Office. If you don’t know what address is on file with the state registration system, go to http://www.pitkinvotes.com (or http://www.govotecolorado.com) and review your record. If it’s not correct, please update it immediately and the Pitkin County Election Staff will mail your ballot to the correct address. Also, by law, the Elections Office cannot mail a ballot after Oct. 31, so check your record now!

If you’re worried the Pitkin County Election Office didn’t send or receive your ballot, track your ballot through BallotTrax. This free service will allow you to track your mail ballot, whether mailed or personally delivered, through the election process and receive near real-time notification via email, text or voicemail. This convenient system works with our Pitkin County Elections Department and the U.S. Postal Service to send you messages when your ballot is sent, received and accepted for counting. We never know how you voted, just that you voted — it’s always anonymous, always secure.

It’s a long ballot this year. Marking your ballot at home allows you the time to research important races and measures. At http://www.pitkinvotes.com, voter resources include the Colorado Blue Book that covers statewide measures and judge retention, the TABOR Notice that discusses local tax issues, and a sample ballot. Although the Elections Department does not compile interviews with candidates, endorsements or discussions on measures, local media has worked hard to provide additional information. Open your ballot as soon as you receive it and familiarize yourself with the content.

There are different ways to assure your voted ballot is returned to the Pitkin County Elections Office. Almost 50 percent of Pitkin County voters drop their ballot off at the Election Office, 501 E. Hyman Ave., the Ute City Building. Staff is happy to see you and give you an “I Voted” sticker. For voter convenience, a permanent ballot drop box with 24/7 video surveillance has been installed at the entrance of Snowmass Town Hall, 130 Kearns Road., and at the parking lot of Basalt Town Hall, 101 Midland Ave.

Voted mail ballots may be dropped off at any voter service and polling center during early voting or on Election Day. The Church at Redstone also will provide a mail ballot drop from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you wish to return your ballot by mail, affix two stamps (68 cents), and remember to return it prior to Nov. 1 to assure the Election Office received your mailed ballot from the U.S. Postal Service prior to 7 p.m. on Election Day. All mail ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks do not count.

For those individuals who still wish to vote in person, early or on Election Day, voter service and polling centers open Oct. 24. For early voting, go to the Aspen Jewish Community Center, 435 W. Main St. in Aspen, Monday through Friday, beginning Oct. 24 through Nov. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Look for the “Vote Here” flag on the corner of Fourth and Main streets.

It’s a long ballot, vote early, and don’t stand in line. Or, on Election Day (Nov. 8), three voter service and polling centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Aspen Jewish Community Center, Snowmass Village Town Hall or Grace Church at 1776 Emma Road. in Basalt.

Voters may go to any voter service and polling center to register to vote, update their voter information, cast a ballot in person, drop off a mail ballot or pick up a replacement mail ballot. Also, to vote in person, remember to bring your ID. For a list of acceptable voter IDs, see http://www.pitkinvotes.com.

Were you aware that more than 85 percent of individuals know one month prior to an election how they’ll vote their ballot?

Here are a few reasons to return your ballot early:

• Assure your ballot is received by the Election Office and counted.

• Eliminate the electioneering calls and knocks on doors.

• Avoid long lines on Election Day — it’s a long ballot.

• Escape dealing with inclement weather on Nov. 8.

• After 7 p.m. on election night, the more timely returns have been, the stronger the certainty of the first round of results will be (after 7 p.m. on election night).

For election night results, the Pitkin County Election Department will upload results after the close of polls, after 7 p.m., but no later than 8 p.m., again around 9 p.m., and after the last results have been tallied on election night.

To review local and statewide results, go to http://www.pitkincounty.com for election night reporting.

Don’t wait in line, go online and address all your election questions at http://www.pitkinvotes.com, visit the Pitkin County Election Office at 501 E. Hyman Ave. in Aspen, or call 970-429-2732.

Janice K. Vos Caudill is the Pitkin County clerk and recorder.