This election season is down to its final hours. If you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time, with one exception.
That exception is the U.S. Mail. It’s really, really too late to mail a ballot. Mailed ballots must be delivered by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks don’t count.
The good news is there are still ways to have your ballot counted.
If you have received a ballot but haven’t yet dropped it off, you can do that at one of six 24-hour drop boxes in the county. Those boxes are in Avon, Edwards, Eagle, Gypsum, El Jebel and Basalt.
Ballot boxes are also located in any of the county’s voting centers. Those centers are in Vail, Avon, Eagle and El Jebel. Residents can vote in person at those centers if they prefer not to use the drop boxes.
If you’re a college student or working outside the county, you can drop a ballot at any county drop box anywhere in Colorado. Those ballots will be delivered to Eagle County and counted.
Shortly after 7 p.m. today, voters will see the first wave of unofficial election results on the Eagle County website or Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien’s Twitter page. Votes that have come in so far have already been signature-verified and are ready to count.
And there are a lot of votes that have already been verified.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office Monday released a tally of votes already received either by mail or in ballot drop boxes. The numbers are remarkable.
As of Nov. 1, the state had recorded more than 2.5 million ballots. That’s just more than 68% of the state’s total of “active” voters. In Eagle County, nearly 23,000 votes were received as of Nov. 1, just less than 67% of the active voters in the county.
In Eagle County, roughly 7,000 ballots were received between Oct. 26 and Nov. 1.
All those voters are probably paying the most attention to the top of the ballot, since this is a presidential election year.
As you probably know, President Donald Trump, a Republican, is seeking re-election. He’s challenged by Democrat Joe Biden, who was vice president from 2009-2017.
In addition to the two major-party candidates, there are 19 other people on the ballot seeking the presidency, including Libertarian Jo Jorgensen to Prohibition Party candidate Phil Collins to unaffiliated candidate Kanye West.
Colorado also has a U.S. Senate race this year, with former Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, facing incumbent Cory Gardner, a Republican.
Eagle County is in parts of two congressional districts. In House District 2, incumbent Joe Neguse, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Charlie Winn.
House District 3 is an open seat, with Republican newcomer Lauren Boebert and Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state representative, competing for the chance to represent of the country’s geographically largest congressional districts.
In addition to state and federal offices, there are several local and regional races to decide.
Eagle County Commissioners serve one of three districts, but are elected by all county voters.
In District 2, incumbent commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry, a Democrat, is seeking another term. She’s being challenged by Thomas Crisofulli.
District 1 incumbent Matt Scherr, also a Democrat, is being challenged by Jennifer Woolley.
Regionally, State Rep. Dylan Roberts, a Democrat, is running unopposed for another term to represent the district that covers Eagle and Routt counties.
Heidi McCollum, also a Democrat, is running unopposed for 5th Judicial District Attorney. That district covers Eagle, Summit, Lake and Clear Creek counties.
Current District Attorney Bruce Brown can’t run again due to state term limit laws.
In Avon, voters will elect three members of that Town Council in a nonpartisan election. Candidates are Missy Ericson, Lindsay Hardy, Russell “RJ” Andrade, Kevin Hyatt, Martin Golembiewski and incumbent Amy Phillips.
There are a number of state and local ballot issues this year.
Among the biggest of those issues is a multiple-government effort to essentially repeal the 1982 Gallagher Amendment. That amendment, passed in 1982, set the share of local property tax collections between residential and commercial property.
Commercial property must always account for 55% of the state’s property tax collections. The state doesn’t have a dedicated property tax, but towns, counties, school districts and countless special districts do.
The Colorado Legislature this year referred Amendment B to the ballot. That amendment repeals Gallagher, but freezes residential property assessment rates at the current 7.15%.
The towns of Vail, Avon and Eagle, along with Eagle County and the Eagle River Fire Protection District, are asking similar questions. The fire district — which serves the county from the top of Tennessee Pass to Wolcott, excluding Vail, is holding its own election. Voters who didn’t mail back those separate ballots can drop them at the district’s administrative office, located at 1050 Edwards Village Boulevard in Edwards.
The town of Eagle is also asking voters to change the existing lodging tax from $4 per day per occupied room to 6% of the cost of the room rate.
The town of Gypsum is asking voters to impose a town tax on tobacco and nicotine products — except stop-smoking aids. The town tax would replace exactly Eagle County’s current tax of $4 per pack on cigarettes and 40% on other tobacco and nicotine products.
The Eagle County School district is asking voters to extend a mill levy override approved in 2016.
The money from the extension will help the district attract and retain staff, maintain mental health counseling and maintain music, art, physical education and similar services.
It’s a long ballot, so take your time. You have until 7 p.m. to drop it off.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at email@example.com.