Tom Munds Challenging. That’s how Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Doty described the task facing voters casting ballots in the November …
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That’s how Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Doty
described the task facing voters casting ballots in the November
“The challenge is the sheer length of the ballot and I’m not
sure everyone who waits until election day and goes to a polling
place will be able to complete the ballot in the 15-minute time
limit in the booth,” Doty said. “The ballot asks voters to select
the individuals they want to serve in national and state offices,
decide 18 state ballot issues plus I am sure there will additional
ballot questions from municipalities, school districts and special
districts that will be added to the ballot before the deadline.
That is why we suggest voters request a mail-in ballot or go to one
of the early voting locations to help reduce the lines at polling
places on election day.”
She noted expectations there will be a record turnout for the
election with all the attention on the two major parties’
candidates for president and vice president.
Both parties are urging everyone who isn’t registered to
register and cast a ballot. Doty noted there are currently 136
groups who have received authorization to conduct
voter-registration campaigns. Additionally, she said her office
daily registers a number of people who are signing up to vote for
the first time.
The fact predictions are for a record turnout and the length of
the ballot could mean long lines if all registered voters decide to
go to polling places to cast their ballots.
However, Doty noted voters have the option to —, instead of
going to the polling place on election day — vote by mail or to
cast ballots at early voting centers that will be in place for
about two weeks prior to election day.
Voting by mail by use of an absentee ballot has been available
for years but originally, it was only available if the voter was
out of state or physically unable to go to the polling place. That
changes when the state Legislature relaxed the rules for obtaining
an absentee ballot, effectively making it available to all voters
for all elections.
As indicated, the mail-in ballot is delivered by the postal
service. The voter then marks the ballot and either returns it by
mail or takes it to one of the drop-off locations. Doty said her
office plans to deliver the mail-in ballots to the postal service
about Oct. 6. She also said that voters need to know the ballot
must arrive in the county clerk’s office not later than 7 p.m.
election day to be counted.
Malcom Reinhardt said he first voted by mail in 2004 and said he
feels it is the only way to take part in an election.
“I am getting up in years and I have known times when the
November weather was so bad I just didn’t feel I could get to the
polling place on election day,” the Centennial man said. “I read
about the mail-in ballot option, applied and voted by mail for the
first time in 2004. It was great. I sat at the table in my home
with plenty of time to study the lists of candidates and questions
before voting. I always went to the polling place before ‘04 but,
once I voted by mail, I would not want to vote any other way.”
Doty said the option to vote by mail is becoming very
“We sent out a notice to about 220,000 active voters in May with
information about how to apply for a mail-in ballot, So far, about
123,000 voters have sent back replies,” she said. “We plan to send
out a second notice about applying for mail-in ballots in the next
week or so. I would expect we’ll have 60 to 65 percent of our
residents vote by mail in the November election, where we are
expecting a record turnout. That would be a higher percentage than
voted by mail in ’04.”
Residents can apply to vote by mail in the November election and
in all future elections by filling out the application on the
county’s Web site, www.arapahoevotes.com.
Also, information about the mail-in ballot is available by
Another possible way to avoid lines at the polling place on
election day is to visit one of the early polling sites. There will
be eight early-voting sites and the sites will be open about two
weeks before the Nov. 4 election day.
Again, information about the hours and locations of early
polling places are listed on the Web site at www.arapahoevotes.com
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