County offers options for voters

Posted 9/10/08

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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County offers options for voters


Tom Munds


That’s how Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Doty described the task facing voters casting ballots in the November election.

“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 popular.

“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,

Also, information about the mail-in ballot is available by calling 303-795-4511.

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


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