DENVER (KDVR) — You probably got your ballot in the mail, but are you procrastinating on casting your vote? Thursday was National Vote Early Day.
County clerks across Colorado came together Thursday to encourage voters not to wait until the last minute to submit ballots.
Ballots were mailed to Colorado voters last week. At a joint press conference, clerks from across the region stressed there is no reason for voters not to make their voices heard.
“Our democracy is delicate, and it’s never been on the ropes like it is right now. So we’re asking voters to turn their ballots in, and don’t come to play,” said Paul López, Denver clerk and recorder.
Counting votes takes time
It is no secret: Not as many people show up to vote in odd-year elections. Records from the Secretary of State’s Office show that less than 223,000 of Colorado’s 4 million eligible voters have returned their ballots so far this election cycle.
“In Colorado, I’ll have to say we have worked hard to make access to voting easy. And it’s my humble opinion that if you don’t vote in Colorado, you just aren’t interested in voting, because we mail a ballot to every active voter three weeks before the election,” said Sheri Davis, Douglas County clerk and recorder.
In this year’s Denver mayoral election, 55,000 ballots were returned during the last two hours of eligible voting. Clerks are urging against waiting until the last minute.
“Keep in mind: If it’s a close election, especially here in the metro area where a lot of ballots come in towards the end of the election, it’s going to take a while,” said Matt Crane, executive director of the Colorado Clerks Association. “Clerk Lopez talked about the eight days that we have to process ballots. If it’s a close election, we may not have certainty until after those eight days. It’s going to take a while to count these ballots.”
Clerk: Election results impact ‘day-to-day life’
Clerks reminded voters that this odd-year election still has important topics on the ballot.
“The people and the issues that are on your ballot in this year’s election are the ones that are going to impact your day-to-day life, right?” said Amanda Gonzalez, Jefferson County clerk and recorder. “These might not be the elections that you think about every day the same way you do Congress or president, but your school board member is going to be the person that decides on curriculum, whether or not schools stay open.”
Clerks are encouraging community groups and businesses to help get the word out about voting to boost turnout. If you plan to mail your ballot, you should do so by Monday, Oct. 30, to ensure it makes it to your county clerk by 7 p.m. on Election Day.