O’Brien: Your 2020 elections guide
Several short weeks ago we were casting ballots for the 2019 election. While it might seem like voting opportunities have concluded until November 2020, the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s office is reminding voters that we have another wave of statewide elections starting in March.
This year will see three mail ballot elections conducted by the clerk’s office. The first is the Super Tuesday presidential primary on March 3, with ballots mailed the week of Feb. 10. Next is the state and local primary election on Tues., June 30, with ballots mailed the week of June 8. And last is the 2020 general election on Tues., Nov. 3, with ballots mailed the week of Oct. 12.
Let’s start with the presidential primary, which will be the first one held in the state in 20 years. In 2016, voters passed Prop 107, which re-established a Colorado Presidential Primary and opened it to unaffiliated voters. On this March ballot, candidates for president will be listed on each political party’s ballot. Results from these races are carried forward to the national convention where the major party nominations for presidential candidates officially takes place.
The second mail ballot voters will receive comes in the summer and will contain the names of state and local candidates vying to be the nominees for races including the U.S. Senate, the 3rd and 2nd congressional districts, State House District 26, and Eagle County Commissioner Districts 1 and 2.
Both 2020 primaries will follow the same format as the 2018 primary. Voters registered either as a Democrat or a Republican will be sent a ballot for that party’s primary. Voters registered as unaffiliated may choose which party’s primary they would like to vote in by selecting a “ballot preference” in their voter registration record. If an unaffiliated voter does not specify a primary ballot preference, they will receive ballots for all parties’ primary elections in their mail ballot packet, but may only submit one ballot to be counted.
New to the 2020 primary format is that any 17-year-old voter currently registered is eligible to vote in both primaries if they will be 18 years old by the Nov. 3, 2020, general election. Voters meeting this age requirement will be sent a ballot for the March and June elections. Those needing to register may contact their high school registrar, the clerk’s office, or visit http://www.GoVoteColorado.gov.
The final election in 2020 will be the November general election. Ballots will be sent to all active, registered voters in mid-October.
With three upcoming mail ballot elections, it’s critical that Eagle County voters check their voter registration information at http://www.GoVoteColorado.gov. Voters should verify the mailing address and the optional ballot mailing address in their voter record to ensure timely receipt of each ballot. This is especially critical in 2020 when ballots will be delivered at three different times of the year.
By law, ballots cannot be forwarded by the postal service. An in-depth infographic with step-by-step information about how to check all components of your voter registration is available at http://www.eaglecounty.us/2020elections.
Finally, any voter service needed on election day, such as registering to vote or obtaining a replacement ballot, can be provided prior to election day when the clerk’s offices are open as Voter Service Centers. Voter Service Centers are open seven days before a primary and 12 days before a general election. There’s no need to wait in a line on election day for voter services when those same services are available days earlier.
Also, all 24-hour ballot boxes and internal office ballot boxes are opened the day ballots are mailed, making it convenient to drop off ballots prior to election day. Of course, voters can also return ballots by mail as long as ballots are received in the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. on election day. Postmarks don’t count.
As always, the clerk’s election team is happy to field any questions and can be reached at 970-328-8715 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien can be reached at email@example.com