How we are planning on having a safe and secure election

OpEd by George Stern
Posted 10/14/20

In June, Jeffco voters proved that the Colorado election model is pandemic-proof, setting a state primary turnout record. Now, with voter registrations up, and more drop boxes and vote centers than …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Username
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2019-2020, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.


Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

How we are planning on having a safe and secure election

Posted

In June, Jeffco voters proved that the Colorado election model is pandemic-proof, setting a state primary turnout record. Now, with voter registrations up, and more drop boxes and vote centers than ever before, we can set another record this November. Here is everything you need to know to participate in the next few weeks. 

Key dates

Fri. Oct. 9: We opened all 24-hour drop boxes, and mailed ballots to all active registered voters, last Friday.   Mon. Oct. 19: If you have not yet received your ballot, call us at 303-271-8111 or chat with us online at ­VoteJeffco.com. You can also go to any in-person vote center, which begin opening on this day.  Mon. Oct. 26: This is the last day to register to vote if you want to receive a mail ballot, and it is also the last day to return your ballot to us by mail. But you still have options!  Tue. Nov. 3: Election Day. You can use any drop box up until 7 p.m., or if you need additional services (same day registration, replacement ballot, etc.), you can use any vote center up until 7 p.m. as well. 

Drop box and vote center locations

As always – and as is true of Republican and Democratic clerks across the state – we recommend returning your ballot to any of our 24-hour drop boxes. The boxes are secure, accessible, and available until 7 p.m. on Election Day. We have more than doubled the number of boxes since the last general election from 15 to 36. Visit VoteJeffco.com to find your nearest drop box—many of them do not even require you to get out of the car! That site also has a list of in-person vote center locations in case you need additional services. If you prefer to return your ballot by mail, we recommend doing so no later than Monday, October 26, and affixing one Forever stamp to your envelope.

Election security

Experts across the political spectrum have called Colorado the safest state in which to cast a ballot, and there is good reason for that.

First, voting by mail means there is a paper trial. We send you a paper ballot, you return that paper ballot to us, and we store that paper ballot for two years after the election so it can be audited or recounted at any time. Next, our election judges verify the signature on every ballot envelope against a signature we have on file for a registered voter who has proven their identity. Additionally, every step of the process – from verifying those signatures to picking up ballots from drop boxes – is done by teams of bipartisan election judges who have undergone FBI background checks. Finally, all of our drop boxes and ballot processing are on 24-7 video surveillance, and the ballot processing is open to election watchers at any time.  

While there has been a lot of attention on mail-ballot voting this year, Jeffco voters can rest assured that the general election will be no different than the ones held in March and June – or any of the elections we have had in the last seven years since Colorado switched to universal vote-by-mail. Indeed, we have so much faith in our elections model that we invite you all to tune in to a virtual tour of our facility via Facebook Live on Thursday, Oct. 29. I am happy to answer any questions you have live!

Track your ballot

For additional peace of mind, we encourage all Jeffco voters to sign up for ballot tracking alerts. Through a program called BallotTrax, you can receive notifications by phone, text, or email when your ballot is on its way to you (most voters have already received those), as well as when we have received your ballot back and processed it for counting. Visit ­VoteJeffco.com to sign up. 

Pandemic precautions 

While the best way to vote safely during a pandemic is to avoid in-person voting altogether – asmore than 99% of our voters did in June! – we are taking special precautions at our in-person vote centers to ensure those voters who must come in are able to do so safely. All Jeffco elections workers and staff members will be wearing face masks, and we encourage voters to do the same. We have outfitted all vote centers with plexiglass and will have hand sanitizer on site. Surfaces and equipment will be thoroughly and regularly cleaned. And we will be enforcing social distancing at each site.

However you plan to vote this election, and whoever you plan to vote for, please just make sure you do it! Together, we can ensure another record turnout in Jeffco, and another safe and secure election. 

George Stern is the clerk and recorder for Jefferson County.

Comments

Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.