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DENVER (KDVR) — Ballots for the 2020 November election will begin the journey to voter’s mailboxes on Friday.

Colorado relies heavily on mail-in voting — a system that is foreign to voters in many other states.

“We’ve been doing universal vote by mail in Colorado for seven years,” said George Stern, Jefferson County’s clerk and recorder. “It’s been successful under Republican and Democratic secretaries of state.”

Stern says Colorado is often called the safest state in the country when it comes to voting. It’s a distinction he says comes from experts on both sides of the political aisle.

“If you don’t have your ballot by Monday, Oct. 19, give your local clerk and recorder a call,” Stern said.

Those who plan on returning completed ballots by mail should do so by Oct. 26, officials said. That allows plenty of time for the post office to get the job done. Voters are also able to drop ballots in designated boxes through Election Day – Nov. 3. Ballots must be submitted by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.

“It’s [a] 100% paper trail,” Stern said. “We’re verifying the signature on every single ballot envelope to the signature we have on file for a registered voter.”

Voters should expect poll watchers and political party representatives at polling centers working to ensure a fair process. That’s nothing new. Volunteers are being reminded they need to follow the rules.

“It’s all wide open to election watchers or anyone the campaigns want to send in to see the process,” Stern said. “It’s fully transparent. Fully secure … We don’t ever welcome intimidation. That’s a crime in Colorado that we’ll be referring to the district attorney’s office if we see it.”

Voting in person on Election Day is also an option.