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Ballots due today at 7 p.m.

by Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Tonya Bina/Sky-Hi Daily News
ALL |

Today begins the countdown of the final hours of the 2007 election, with the final ballots issued up until 7 p.m. tonight.

As of mid-morning yesterday, the tally of ballots was up to 2,870, according to County Clerk and Recorder Sara Rosene.

There were also 200 ballots turned in by voters registered in the state of Colorado who own property in the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District, the Winter Park Water and Sanitation District or the Hot Sulphur Springs-Parshall Fire Protection District.

Unofficial election results will be announced later tonight. If ballots are counted by presstime, we will publish them on the front page of tomorrow’s Sky-Hi Daily News.

Otherwise, results will be posted on our Web site, http://www.skyhidailynews.com

Official results will be announced on Nov. 16.

It’s the second election in which mail-in (absentee) ballots were used as the primary means of voting.

“Mail-in seems to be going well for us,” Rosene said.

But mixed opinions about the mail-in process linger among the voting pool.

Because there is a signature requirement, a perception for some people is that judges can know how people vote.

Rosene said that once the judges verify the signature, the signature is removed and separated from the ballot, which remains folded up until the time of counting.

And, it’s impossible for a voter to cast two ballots, she said, because of a number issued on the ballot stub.

“We don’t let you vote two ballots; our system will stop you,” she said.

Some voters don’t like the mail-in process simply because “they like going to the polling place,” Rosene said. “I can understand that.”

Voters who prefer the mail-in method do so for its convenience.

And mail-in ballot elections are less costly to the taxpayers, Rosene added.

Mail-in ballots require only four judges compared to 70 to 80 judges needed for general elections. Since each election judge is paid $100, the postage for mail-in ballots is far less than the cost for extra judges.

“We also pay a lot less in staff overtime,” Rosene said.

The county has been sending letters to those voters whose signatures couldn’t be verified or to those who did not sign their ballot. For each case up until Nov. 8, a letter is sent out.

Those voters have until Nov. 14 to prove the validity of their signature by providing to the county a copy of their identification.

“There are about 40 we’ve sent letters to so far,” Rosene said.

At the county’s Web site, voters whose signatures were suspect can check to make sure their returned ballots have reached the county and have been accepted by checking the list by visiting http://co.grand.co.us/online_services/elections.html.

Although electronic equipment booths have been set up and available for those with physical disabilities, election judges reported that, since Oct. 22, a single voter had yet to visit one.

Among the three judges at the polling place Monday, two were catching up on their reading.

Election Judge Curt Reed of Kremmling said he passes the time by taking walks up and down the courthouse hallway.

His election collegue Mike Peterson said, they’ve also been known to play a game or two of backgammon.


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