More than 185,500 ballots have so far been returned statewide for the Nov. 5 coordinated election, and the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office released a list of common mistakes seen this election cycle.

Corrections for the most common errors are as follows.

1. You must sign your own ballot envelope: Verify your name and address before signing on the back of your ballot envelope. If you sign the incorrect envelope (such as your spouse’s), draw a line through your signature and have the correct voter sign above.

2. I.D. Required: If your ballot instructions state you must return an I.D., you have to include a copy of an acceptable form of I.D. (acceptable forms listed in your voter instructions) to ensure your ballot is counted in a timely manner.

3. Change your mind on a candidate or question/issue? Clearly state your intentions by drawing a line through the incorrect selection and darken the oval of the correct one and circle your choice.

4. Identifying Marks: Do not sign or initial your voted ballot, even when making a correction. Your signature should only be on the outside of your ballot envelope. This ensures voter anonymity.

- Advertisement -

The Clerk and Recorder’s Office is urging voters to return their ballots early — before Election Day, Nov. 5 — and strongly recommends voters return ballots at one of the secure 24-hour ballot drop boxes.

“Mail ballots give voters time to learn about candidates, questions and issues, decide on their choice, and then vote in the comfort of their home,” Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman said in a news release. “It is tremendously helpful for our office when voters return their ballot early. We are able to release results more quickly on election night and that benefits everyone anxious to know the outcome of the races.”

Ten additional ballot drop boxes have been installed, totaling 26 strategically located boxes throughout the county.

All ballot drop boxes are open 24/7 and are under video surveillance. A complete list with a map showing drive times is available at Voters can type in their address and search for the nearest location to them.

All ballots must be received by the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 5, to be counted. Postmarked ballots received after the deadline cannot be counted.

For ballots returned by mail, $0.55 standard postage is needed.

The Voter Service and Polling Center located at the Citizens Service Center is currently open and the remaining four clerk and recorder branch locations will open Oct. 28 as VSPCs. Two additional VSPCs will be operating Monday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7 a.m-7 p.m., at Victory World Outreach and Monument Town Hall.

Voters who need to get a replacement ballot, update their registration, register to vote, or vote in person, may do so at any of the VSPCs.

Starting Oct. 21, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office is releasing a daily update reporting the number of ballots returned to county clerks for the coordinated election. As of 11:28 a.m. October 22, that number stood at 185,597 statewide.