Eagle County ballots are now in the mail
You should have yours by Oct. 15
Your fall ballot is probably in the mail right now. Those ballots need to be returned no later than 7 p.m. Nov. 2.
The Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office mailed out more than 35,000 ballots for this year’s election Friday. Voters will receive one of several versions of that ballot, depending on their address.
All county voters this year will see three statewide ballot issues. There’s also a countywide ballot issue asking to increase county commissioner term limits from eight to 12 years.
Avon voters are being asked whether to recall Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes and Council Member Tamra Nottingham Underwood.
Voters in Vail and Avon are being asked to increase taxes for housing. Those in the Mountain Recreation district, which stretches from Edwards to Dotsero, are being asked for a property tax increase to fund facilities and programs.
First time for Vail
This is the first time Vail has been on the county’s coordinated ballot. The town for the rest of its history had held municipal elections on its own.
Vail Assistant Town Manager Patty McKenney, the town’s former clerk, wrote in an email that she and current clerk Tammy Nagel had asked the Vail Town Council several times to agree to participate in the countywide election. That request was granted this year.
Ballots can be returned via mail, dropped off at one of several 24/7 drop boxes or delivered to one of the county’s voter service centers.
Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien said the drop boxes are the most popular way to return ballots.
The drop boxes — all of which are under 24-hour video surveillance — are located at the Vail, Basalt and Gypsum town halls, outside the clerk’s offices in Avon, Eagle and El Jebel and outside of the Mountain Recreation field house in Edwards.
O’Brien said voter service centers will open on Oct. 25 at Avon Town Hall, the Eagle County administration building and the El Jebel community building. A voter service station in Vail will open at 1 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Grand View room atop the Lionshead parking structure.
O’Brien said other events at that room delayed opening a center in Vail.
Voters can drop off ballots, register to vote or correct possible voter registration errors.
There’s probably a registration error if you don’t receive your ballot by Friday. The U.S. Postal Service won’t forward ballots but returns them to the clerk’s office.
Easy to get it right
O’Brien said it’s easy to correct your mailing address at either a voter service center or at GoVoteColorado.gov.
As ballots come in, they’re prepared for processing and checked for proper signatures. The ballots that came in before 7 p.m. on Election Day can be run fairly quickly through the counting equipment. Ballots that come into the voter service centers or drop boxes late in the day can take some time to deliver to Eagle, especially if the weather’s bad or Glenwood Canyon is closed.
After those votes are counted, the results remain unofficial. Ballots from military and overseas voters are given eight days to arrive. With all the procedures, it takes about two weeks to release final results, O’Brien said.
Once this year’s votes are counted and certified, work starts almost immediately on next year’s general election.
O’Brien said her office works with both full-time staff and part-time election judges to talk about ways to make the next election run more effectively than the previous one.
There will be a lot of changes before the 2022 primary in June and again in the November voting. Next year’s election will reflect new congressional and state legislative districts. County commissioner district boundaries will also be redrawn.
“There’s not a lot of down time,” O’Brien said.