County Cubicle: Mail ballots

Editor’s note: In an effort to keep residents informed on happenings within county government, county employees will contribute biweekly articles for “The County Cubicle.”
These articles may include responses to reader questions or expression of interest. Readers are encouraged to submit questions or suggestions to County Administrator Pat Hooker at 878-9436 or phooker@co.rio-blanco.co.us

The polling booth for the Aug. 10 primary election will be your own mail box.
The decision to conduct this year’s primary election, by mail ballot, was made by the county commissioners last March. The cost savings for the county is an estimated $10,000. Another factor considered by the commissioners is the popularity of the permanent mail-in voter status. Registered voters many now elect to automatically receive a ballot by mail for all elections conducted by the county clerk. Approximately 1,215 voters have opted to become permanent mail-in voters. This is more than 300 over the total voter turnout in the 2008 primary (899).
For the primary election, county voters, affiliated with a party participating in the primary, will automatically receive their ballot in the mail. The ballots will be mailed between July 19 and July 22 to any voter affiliated as a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian. If you do not receive your ballot in the mail by July 29, please call the clerk’s office to request a replacement ballot. This is the first primary in Rio Blanco County to include a Libertarian ballot as there are contested Libertarian races for the U.S. Senate and governor.
Voted ballots must be received by the county clerk’s offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks do not count as a received date.
July 12 is the last day to register to vote or change political party affiliation if a voter is presently affiliated with a political party. Unaffiliated registered voters have the option of affiliating with a party in order to vote that party’s primary ballot, up to and including Election Day. Unaffiliated voters will be mailed a card in late June, providing them with the opportunity to affiliate prior to the ballots being mailed the week of July 19.
All county elected offices, with the exception of two of the county commissioners, will be on the ballot this year. Currently, two contested county positions, the offices of county commissioner District I and county coroner, will be settled at the primary election if no write-in candidates file for the general election. The remaining county offices are uncontested at this time.
Federal and state offices on the ballot include: U.S. senator, U.S. congressional District 3 representative, governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, attorney general, University of Colorado regent at-large, and statehouse District 57 representative.
If your voter mailing address or residential address has changed, please take a moment to update your information. You may check your current party affiliation and address information by accessing www.govotecolorado.com or by calling the county clerk’s office at 878-9460. Change forms are available on the county clerk’s election page on the county website: www.co.rio-blanco.co.us. You may call the clerk’s office to have a change form mailed to you.