GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) — In an underground warehouse, behind multiple sets of locked doors, hundreds of Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters are working together.
The Jefferson County election facility has been the busiest in the state, with more than 278,000 ballots already returned.
The county is the fourth-most populous in Colorado, with an estimated 583,000 people.
Clerk and Recorder George Stern gave FOX31’s Evan Kruegel a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility Friday.
In every room, teams of bipartisan election judges are working together, ensuring every vote is counted correctly.
“We want voters to know that whatever their political party, folks are watching on their behalf,” says Stern. “Folks are running these elections on their behalf, so everyone should feel good about Colorado election security.”
The entire facility is also monitored on closed-circuit security cameras, just like the 36 drop boxes throughout the county.
From the beginning, Stern says bipartisan teamwork is important.
Bipartisan teams collect the ballots, then bring them in to the warehouse together.
Election judges then verify every single signature, contacting voters if signatures don’t match.
Even the ballots themselves are reviewed by bipartisan teams, making sure the vote you intended to cast is the one that makes it through.
Eventually, the votes themselves are anonymously tallied by a computer, which keeps the results secret until election night.
Stern says about 90% of voters so far have returned their ballots through a secure drop box, with 8% returning the ballot by mail and about 2% voting in person.
“We’re definitely seeing an uptick in those drop boxes over mail this year,” says Stern. “We empty every single drop-box daily, and our busier boxes, we’re emptying two, three times a day.”
As of Friday night, about 66% of registered voters in Jefferson County had already cast a ballot.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” says Stern. “But we know we’ve already seen a majority of our voters.”