Cathy Walton-Smith: Four things you should know about your mail-in ballot |

Cathy Walton-Smith: Four things you should know about your mail-in ballot

Well, Im going to get up on my soapbox one more time about voting. I decided to send off for a mail-in ballot this year. Ive never voted by mail before. I like the idea of taking a little time off to step into that voting booth and finally drop that secret ballot into the locked box. There is something very satisfying about going through those ritual motions and walking out wearing my I voted sticker.Unfortunately, in the past, I have found myself a little confused by some of the items on the ballot that I was not prepared for. By obtaining a mail-in ballot, I have the time to make sure I am informed about what is on my ballot and not worry about other issues that I am not eligible to vote on. Here are a few tips for navigating this election ballot:1. Read the blue state ballot info booklet you received in the mail. It contains information on all the state amendments, referendums and judges that will be on the ballot. There is also a cheat sheet where you can mark your decisions and bring it when you vote.2. This is truly a secret ballot in more ways than one. With 16 presidential candidates on the ballot, most of those have remained a secret until I read their names.3. There are Grand County Commissioners up for election. I have always believed that you could only vote for candidates within your own district. Not true. If they are on your ballot, you can vote. You can even add a write-in.4. The mail-in ballot will cost more than a regular postage stamp to mail back. It costs 59 cents just to get it to you.The bottom line is, your vote is important. Make sure you know what youre voting for and be responsible in your decisions. If you don’t know, leave it blank and only vote on what you do know.Local restaurants are beginning to offer fall specials in an effort to keep us eating out. So far, I think it has worked pretty good in past years, and we all look forward to these special treats. Here are a few I know about: The Sagebrush has started its all-you-can-eat king crab legs dinner special on Friday nights through May 2, 1009 The Daven Haven Backstreet Steakhouse has a burger special in the lounge and a dinner for two special in the restaurant on Thurs. and Sun. through Nov. 9, plus all-you-can-eat shrimp on Fridays The Waconda is open every day from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. serving breakfast the entire time with a lunch menu added at 11 a.m. El Pacifico has a new fall special lunch menu, and be sure to check out their haunted seating area. Pancho & Leftys has a prime rib dinner on Tues. and Chinese food on Thurs. with a lunch special menu every day FYI, they will be closed Oct. 20 thru Nov. 14, when they will re-open at 5 p.m. As I learn of others, Ill let you know.This Saturday, you can help support the Troublesome Horse Rescue. This facility offers sanctuary for old, injured and malnourished horses, and finds new homes for them. There will be a fundraising dinner, at Carolines Cuisine. Dance to the music of the Blue Rhythm Boys, participate in silent and live auctions, and more. Carriage rides and cocktails begin at 5:30 with the prime rib and salmon buffet dinner beginning at 7 p.m. All for $65 per person. Tickets may be purchased at the Fraser Visitors Center, Granby Veterinary Clinic or from Troublesome Horse Rescue at (970) 724-3231.This is really a good time to be in the market for a home. More and more first time homebuyers are qualifying every day as prices drop.A FREE Homebuyers Workshop, will he held this Wed., October 22, 5:30-9:30 p.m. at the Grand Lake Town Hall board room. This class will help you to become a successful homeowner, and offers help in navigating this crazy buyers market. Learn about down payment assistance, special loan programs, and new tax credit programs. The class also includes a free workbook. Please register in advance at (970) 887-7271 or online at Sponsored by the Grand County Housing Authority and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. By completing this class, you’ll earn a certificate that could help you qualify for down payment assistance or special loan programs.Plan to join in the fun at the Firecracker Fund Bowl on Sunday, Oct. 26 at Grand Lake Lanes. Help raise money for the Grand Lake fireworks fund and have a good time, too. Bowling sessions are at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. with 8 five-member teams competing per session. Sign up today at the bowling alley for just $20 per bowler per session. Get your teams together and sign up today. Lots of prizes will be awarded, including for patriotic and firecracker costumes.Mark your calendar for holiday melodrama tryouts Nov. 2 and 3 at the Grand Lake Community House from 6 to 8 p.m.Eat! Eat! Eat!

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