Springs voters are rushing to the polls — but Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman is urging them not to come in person.
In the first days of opening, Voter Service and Polling Centers have seen a massive influx of voters — nearly two thousand — who have voted in person even though they may have received their mail ballot to vote from home, according to Broerman’s office.
With local turnout for the general election expected to be "extremely high at 80 percent," Broerman is asking voters to vote from home and return their ballots via the 24/7 drop boxes or by mail.
“We want the voter experience to be positive and voting from home accomplishes that,” Broerman said in a news release. “The method of processing and counting your ballot is the same whether you vote mail ballot or in person. Our voting system in Colorado is secure and verifiable.”
Broerman’s office listed the following reasons to vote at home and not in person:
COVID-19: The Clerk’s staff has strict protocols in place for sanitization of the VSPC. Regardless, in-person voting involves public contact that can be avoided by voting at home.
Cost: The average mail ballot packet costs $2 per voter. That cost escalates to $30 per voter when someone chooses to vote in person. The Clerk’s Office asks voters to be fiscally responsible and help contain the election costs that impact the taxpayer.
Long lines and wait times: The ballot is long and voting in person takes time. After each voter leaves, the area must be sanitized before the next voter arrives. It is far more convenient and safer for voters to vote their mail ballot at home on their own time.
Colorado’s model of voting: Nationally Colorado is recognized as the Gold Standard of mail ballot voting. The system is safe, secure, accurate, transparent and verifiable. To date, 12 elections have been conducted since the voting model was established in 2013 — including the June Primary during the pandemic. El Paso County’s Elections Office has achieved six local and national awards.
VSPC services: The primary purposes of a Voter Center are 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 drop their completed mail ballot off in person. All ballots, whether mail ballot or in person, are processed the same way.
Voters can track their ballot by using BallotTrax, a program implemented statewide for all counties to utilize. A voter can confirm their ballot was received and counted by the Clerk’s Office. To sign up, there is a link at epcvotes.com. Voters also can visit GoVoteColorado.gov to check the status of their ballot.
Voters are asked to vote their mail ballot early and return it at one of the 37 secure 24/7 ballot drop boxes throughout the county. Locations and maps are available at epcvotes.com. Early ballot returns will help the Election staff keep pace with processing so that on election night more results will be tabulated and ready for release.
Voters who have questions or concerns can contact the Clerk’s Elections staff members at 719-575-VOTE (8683).