How mail-in ballots work

RBC | Now that primary election ballots have been signed, sealed, delivered and counted some may be left wondering what happens to those official orange and white envelopes after you pop them back into the mail. County Clerk and Recorder Boots Campbell answered our questions about how your vote is counted and protected.
Q: What happens to a mail in ballot once the Clerk and Recorder’s Office receives it?
A: The ballot is scanned into SCORE (the state system) the same day it’s received. The signature is verified. It then goes in with all other ballots awaiting the election judges who then open the envelopes. The envelopes are separated from the security sleeve and ballot. Then the ballot is removed from the security sleeve and unfolded to get ready to be scanned. This assures total privacy for the voter. You can never see who an individual voted for, only that they did return a ballot and were given credit for voting in the state system.
Q: What if the signature on the envelope doesn’t match the one on file?
A: If a signature doesn’t match the voter is sent a letter and an affidavit to complete stating whether or not they did sign the envelope.
Q: In 2016 Colorado voters approved open primaries, allowing unaffiliated voters to pick which party’s primary they want to vote in. How has this changed this for your office?
A: The new primary laws have made additional work for our election judges who have to insert the ballots into envelopes making sure the unaffiliated voter gets the two ballots (both Republican and Democrat) if they haven’t declared which ballot they want to vote. When ballots are returned, they are separated into Republican, Democrat and Unaffiliated batches before the judges finish processing them.
The envelopes with two ballots for the unaffiliated voter also costs more to mail.
Q: How do you make sure unaffiliated voters aren’t able to vote in both primaries?
A: The first ballot received is scanned and entered into SCORE. This prevents another ballot from being received. If both party’s ballots are returned in the envelope, neither one will count per Secretary of State l. The envelope will be put aside for storage for 25 months and then destroyed.
Q: How many major party voters are there in Rio Blanco?
A: We have 2,625 active Republican voters, 297 active Democratic voters and 860 active Unaffiliated voters as of today.