Early voting could ease Eagle County’s Election Day crowds | VailDaily.com

Early voting could ease Eagle County’s Election Day crowds

Chris Outcalt
Eagle County, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” High numbers of early voters and mail-in ballot requests could help keep voters moving quickly through Election Day lines in Eagle County, Colorado said Clerk and Recorder Teak Simonton.

“There are still a lot of people out there, but it will take some of the pressure off the polling places,” Simonton said.

About 69 percent of the 23,000 active registered voters in Eagle County either requested a mail-in ballot or voted early ” up nearly 20 percent from the last presidential election, Simonton said.

By Monday, almost 10,000 voters turned in mail-in ballots and 3,800 people voted early, Simonton said. Mail ballots can still be turned in on Election Day.

Election officials had relatively few problems at early voting polling places, Simonton said.

“It went pretty smoothly, it was definitely busy,” she said. “Hopefully it will be a better experience than people had in 2004.”

Simonton said they hope to keep people from waiting more than 30 minutes to vote.

“We’ve done just about everything we can,” she said. “At the bigger places we’re actually creating two mini polling places.”

Early voting has also been popular statewide.

About 62 percent of Colorado voters requested mail ballots, according to numbers released Sunday by the secretary of state’s office. Forty-six percent returned the ballots by Sunday. Almost 14 percent of the state’s active voters utilized early voting.

Some Front Range clerks say they may not have results until well into Wednesday because of the lengthy process to count mail ballots.

Simonton expects to have Eagle County results Tuesday night.

“We’re going to have results (on election night),” she said. “That’s our goal.”

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or coutcalt@vaildaily.com.

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