Coloradans planning to send their ballots by mail are advised to send them by today, according to a news release Monday from Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
Griswold recommends voters who do not have their ballots in the mail by Monday should instead plan to drop them off directly at an official ballot drop box or at an early voting center. In Colorado, ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, which is also the last day for in-person voting.
“Today is the last day to return a voted ballot by mail,” Griswold said in the release Monday. “After today, voters should return their ballot to one of the hundreds of drop boxes or voting centers across the state.”
Colorado has sent all registered voters a ballot. This year, there are a number of high-profile races for which Coloradans will be casting votes. Colorado’s U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner is up for re-election, running against former Gov. John Hickenlooper. La Plata County and the rest of the state’s 3rd Congressional District also will be choosing between business owner Lauren Boebert and former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush to succeed Rep. Scott Tipton in Washington.
Colorado and the rest of the nation will also be electing a president. President Donald Trump is running for re-election against former Vice President Joe Biden in what is expected to be a high-turnout race.
This will be the state’s third Senate election and second presidential election since the state passed the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act of 2013.
With just over a week to go until the final votes are cast, Colorado is one of many states that has already experienced more than half of its total 2016 ballot count returned in early ballots.
According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, as of the end of the day Sunday, Coloradans had returned 1,617,955 ballots. That includes both ballots sent by mail and turned in at in-person early voting centers. In the 2016 general election, a total of 2,855,960 ballots were counted in Colorado.
So far this year, La Plata County has recorded 18,710 ballots and Montezuma County has recorded 8,582. Griswold’s office reports that in 2016, La Plata County counted a total 32,012 ballots and Montezuma County counted a total of 13,189 ballots.
The number of mail-in and early ballots cast nationwide is expected to be particularly high this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic complicating in-person voting on Election Day.
“Coloradans have been making their voices heard this election with high turnout during early voting,” Griswold said in the release. “I hope this enthusiasm will help our state lead the nation in voter turnout this election.”
La Plata County election officials are running a number of mail-in ballot drop box locations as well as a number of early in-person voting centers, which also accept mail ballots.
John Purcell is an intern for The Durango Herald and The Journal in Cortez and a student at American University in Washington, D.C.