Letter: Colorado can vote by mail no problem
Responding to nonsense about vote-by-mail, Colorado knows how to do it. Ballots and envelopes with preprinted addresses are readied by the county clerk’s office well in advance.
The party chairs do a “test run” filling out about 25 test ballots to make sure the voting machines are counting correctly. Then a crew of election judges, more or less equal numbers from each party, working in the courthouse at social distances, wearing masks, insert the ballots, return envelopes and voting instructions in the pre-printed envelopes. Those approximately 11,500 ballots are mailed from the post office in Hot Sulphur Springs on Oct. 9.
Since Grand County mail is now sorted in Denver, it can take four to five days to get into your post office box. When it arrives, you could vote, sign the return envelope, insert your ballot, put two stamps on it and mail it back. If that’s your route, get your voted, signed ballot in the mail by Oct. 20. The post office got it to you; they can get it back to the county clerk.
It’s just as safe to complete your ballot, sign the envelope, and, from Oct. 19 till Nov. 3, drop it in the closest drop box. There are drop boxes in Fraser, Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs, Grand Lake and Kremmling. The addresses and your voting options are on the voting instructions you get with your ballot.
From Oct. 19 drop boxes will be open 24 hours a day, under video surveillance. At least once every 72 hours and more frequently as election day approaches, a team of two election judges, one from each party, goes to each drop box, picks up the ballots and delivers them to the courthouse. A team also goes to the Hot Sulphur Springs Post Office to collect mailed-in ballots.
Once ballots are at the court house, the county clerk, her staff and a team of election judges from both parties take over. The signature on the back of the ballot envelope is compared to the signatures the county has on file for that person. The envelopes are opened, the ballot is separated, is examined for stray marks to make sure the counting machine can read it, and counted. All these actions are done by pairs of D and R election judges. Then we all wait for the results. Those counted ballots and envelopes are stored in the courthouse for 18 months, just in case there are concerns. The average taxpayer cost for each ballot mailed out is about $6. Vote! It’s your money, and your civic obligation.
— Susan F. Newcomer, Fraser
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