The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has a few notes for voters as the election approaches.

First, if you’re returning your ballot by mail, a regular first-class stamp won’t be enough. All ballots returned via USPS need 65 cents in postage, and must be received by 7 p.m. Nov. 3.

Second, it’s best to vote by mail or to use a secure 24/7 drop box, and only use a Voter Center if you really need one. 

“I encourage eligible voters to vote their mail ballot and use one of the 35 voter centers as a last resort,” Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman said in a news release. 

“Colorado’s voting model is considered the gold standard, and our citizens should have confidence in this system. Due to the ongoing concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic my office has systems in place to protect individuals needing in-person services and provide voters with convenient access to ensure they have every opportunity to vote.”  

Seven more Voter Service and Polling Centers open Monday, Oct. 19 in El Paso County. The Clerk and Recorder’s Office will open 27 more locations in two phases (Oct. 30 and Nov. 2) for a total of 35 locations open Monday, Nov. 2 and Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

Voter Centers exist primarily to register new voters, update voter registrations, and issue ballots to voters that did not receive one in the mail. Voter Centers also offer ADA ballot marking devices for individuals with disabilities. 

Anyone who prefers to vote in person can come to a Voter Center and receive a paper ballot to deposit, or they can drop their completed mail ballot off in person.  

All ballots — whether mail ballot or in person — are processed in the same manner. 

Voters seeking in-person service will be asked to abide by COVID-19 safety precautions to receive any of the following services:

  • register to vote

  • update their voter registration

  • request a replacement ballot

  • use an ADA accessible ballot marking device

  • vote in person on a paper mail ballot

  • drop off their voted ballot

The VSPCs open on Monday include locations in the Citadel Mall, Chapel Hills Mall, and UCCS Ent Center for Fine Arts in addition to Clerk and Recorder’s Branch locations. Voters who have difficulty visiting a VSPC during the week can use Saturday hours, Oct. 31 (8 a.m.-5 p.m). All VSPCs will be open Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 2 and 3, 7 a.m.-7p.m.

More than 98 percent of the population lives within 10 or 15 minutes from a VSPC or secure 24/7 ballot drop-off box