Eagle County ballots sent out to voters on Friday | VailDaily.com

Eagle County ballots sent out to voters on Friday

About 1,000 people have registered to vote in just the last month

Eagle County voters faces a whopper of a ballot this year.
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By the numbers
  • 33,142: Eagle County registered, active voters as of Sept. 20.
  • 32,148: Registered, active voters as of Aug. 31.
  • 9,671: Registered, active Democrats.
  • 6,963: Registered, active Republicans.
  • 15,838: Registered, active unaffiliated voters.

Eagle County on Friday put more than 33,000 ballots in the mail. Once your ballot arrives, there are a number of ways to have your vote recorded.

Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien said there has been a wave of voter registration in the past month, with nearly 1,000 people added to the “active” voter rolls.

In election jargon, an “active” voter is someone with a valid address who’s been sent a ballot. An “inactive” voter, on the other hand, is someone who’s been sent an election-related piece of mail, and that correspondence has been returned as undeliverable.

O’Brien said it’s easy to get back on the “active” list: just update your voter registration.

Voters can register for the first time or update their registration all the way to election day on Nov. 3.

For those who are registering for the first time, Colorado requirements are simple:

  • You must be a resident of the state for at least 22 days.
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • You must have turned 18 prior to Election Day.

Don’t put this off

O’Brien urged voters not to wait until the last minute to register or vote, though.

O’Brien noted that this year’s ballot is a whopper, with two large pages with various  candidates and issues on all four sides of those two sheets.

Colorado for several years has had mail-in ballots. Voters are required to pay for postage on those completed ballots.

This year’s ballot will require 70 cents in postage but O’Brien said ballots with insufficient postage will still be delivered to the clerk and recorder’s office and the county will reimburse the U.S. Postal Service for the remaining postage. O’Brien said ballots need to be put back into the mail by Oct. 26 to ensure delivery by Nov. 3. And those ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks don’t count.

Most Eagle County voters use drop boxes to return those ballots. There are six of those 24-hour drop boxes this year, in Avon, Basalt, Eagle, Edwards, El Jebel and Gypsum, at the Town Hall. All those boxes are under 24-hour video surveillance.

Starting Oct. 19, the county will open voter service centers at the clerk’s offices in Eagle and El Jebel. The Avon voter service center has moved to the town of Avon Municipal Building to allow for greater social distancing. The Clerk’s office in Avon will not serve as a vote center for this election. The Avon 24-hour ballot box remains in the same location it has for years at 100 W. Beaver Creek Blvd. A voting service center will open in Vail in the Grand View Room atop the Lionshead parking structure, but not until Oct. 30. There will also be a ballot drop box inside that center.

The voter service centers will allow in-person voting. Voters can also register or update their registration, get ballots, or replace spoiled ballots. Those centers will be subject to current public health orders, so social distancing and mask-wearing will be mandatory.

Election officials are also set up to assist voters without masks outside of vote centers using curbside registration and voting options. Voters may call 970-328-8715 or email elections@eaglecounty.us for more information.

COVID changes

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced some changes in the election system. O’Brien said there will be on-call election judges in case anyone has to call in sick. But, she added, her office has had plenty of people signing up for election judge positions. Those positions are fully staffed, with an on-call list.

“If anybody has any kind of symptoms, we ask them not to come in,” Obrien said.

Election judges come from both the major parties, and O’Brien said those people have historically gotten along.

“It’s great to see folks from different sides of the aisle working together to run a great election,” she said.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com.

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