Eagle County Clerk says Election Day isn’t just one day any longer; ballots mailed Oct. 15 | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Clerk says Election Day isn’t just one day any longer; ballots mailed Oct. 15

Election judges verify ballots during the primary election earlier this year. Ballots for the 2018 general election will be mailed Monday, Oct. 15.

EAGLE — For Eagle County Clerk & Recorder Regina O'Brien and her staff, the term Election Day really doesn't apply any longer.

Tuesday, Nov. 6, may be the last day to vote, but casting ballots is no longer a single-day exercise. Instead, Colorado voters are presented with a roughly three-week span to turn in their ballots, and that period begins Monday, Oct. 15, when the mail-in ballots are sent to registered voters.

"Most voters should see their ballots arrive between Wednesday and Friday," O'Brien said.

The county's mailing list includes more than 30,000 ballots. After making their choices, voters can return ballots by mail — at their own expense and the postage cost is 71 cents — or drop them off at the voting centers located at the clerk's offices in Eagle, Avon and El Jebel. At those locations, and at the Basalt Town Office, there are 24-hour drop boxes with video surveillance as a secure, convenient way to drop off ballots.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 22, the clerk's offices in Eagle, Avon and El Jebel offices will be voter service and polling centers as noted:

• Monday through Friday, Oct. 22 through Nov. 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Saturday, Oct. 27, and Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

An additional voter service and polling center will be operated at the Grand View Room on top of the Lionshead Village parking structure on the following dates:

• Friday, Nov. 2, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Saturday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

2018 Composite General Ballot by Sean Naylor on Scribd

Voting Early

Candidates and campaigns aggressively reach out to voters during election season, as endless television and radio ads and copious candidate mailings demonstrate. They also try to reach voters through direct telephone contact, often to the voters' chagrin. O'Brien noted turning in a ballot early can help address that particular issue.

Through the mail-in ballot process, political parties and candidates won't know how people voted until after 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. But they will know who has voted. Once a voter has turned in a ballot, campaigns turn resources to people who haven't yet done so.

"Once you turn in a ballot, you shouldn't receive candidate phone calls. That's an incentive for voting early," O'Brien said.

O'Brien stressed that voters who haven't yet made up their minds regarding candidates and issues have until Tuesday, Nov. 6, to complete their research.

"But if a voter knows how he or she wants to vote, we encourage them to turn in their ballot early. You don't have to wait until Election Day," O'Brien said.

When the bulk of the ballots come in early, Election Day runs smoother and results can be tabulated earlier, O'Brien said. She stressed that while ballots can be turned in early and processed through the clerk's tabulation system, the results themselves cannot be unlocked until polls officially close at 7 p.m. And, like elections of the past, if a voter is in line at a polling center by that 7 p.m. deadline, he or she can still submit a ballot.

What's more, O'Brien added that her office is happy to accommodate another Election Day tradition.

"We are happy to give out 'I Voted' stickers at any time during the election season," she concluded.

For more information about the Eagle County ballot or election procedures, call the Eagle County Clerk & Recorder's Office at 970-328-8715 or email elections@eaglecounty.us.

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