Election information for Jeffco voters

OpEd by George Stern
Posted 10/12/21

Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again! The 2021 Coordinated Election has begun, with mail ballots on the way to active, registered voters and 24-hour drop boxes now open. In the interest …

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Election information for Jeffco voters

Posted

Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again! The 2021 Coordinated Election has begun, with mail ballots on the way to active, registered voters and 24-hour drop boxes now open. In the interest of helping our voters continue their recent record-setting turnouts, here is the who, what, when, and where (plus a bit more) for this November’s election.

Who and what are on the ballot?

On every Jefferson County ballot this year are three statewide ballot measures and three school board races. Then, depending on where you live, you might also have local city council races and municipal or special district ballot initiatives. If your ballot hasn’t arrived yet, you can find an all-inclusive sample ballot, as well as the state Blue Book and local TABOR notices, by visiting VoteJeffco.com and clicking on “Election Information.”

When is the election?

Here are the key dates:

· Friday, October 8: We mailed ballots to all active, registered voters in Jefferson County.

· Monday, October 18: If you haven’t yet received a ballot by this date, contact our Elections team by calling 303-271-8111. We can issue you a replacement by mail until October 25.

· Monday, October 25: Last day to return your ballot by mail to ensure it arrives in time, and first day in-person vote centers are open.

· Tuesday, November 2: Election Day! Drop boxes and vote centers are open until 7 p.m.

Where can I vote?

Use any of Colorado’s normal three ways to vote:

· Drop Box: More than 80% of Jeffco voters choose to use a drop box, given that the boxes are secure, accessible, and available 24/7. Because of that popularity, we have more than doubled the number of boxes in the last few years from 15 to 36. Check your ballot mailing or visit VoteJeffco.com to find your nearest drop box—many of which do not even require you to get out of your car!

· Mail: If you choose to return your ballot by mail, we strongly recommend doing so no later than October 25 and affixing one Forever stamp to your envelope.

· VSPC: If you need additional services (Registering for the first time? Child spilled juice on your ballot? Dog actually ate it?), visit an in-person Voter Service and Polling Center starting on October 25. As with drop boxes, those locations are listed in your ballot mailing packet or online at VoteJeffco.com.

What else?

For additional peace of mind, we encourage all Jeffco voters to sign up for ballot tracking alerts. You can receive notifications by phone, text, or email when your ballot is on its way to you (most voters have already received those), as well as when we have received your ballot back and processed it for counting. Visit VoteJeffco.com to sign up.

Finally, if you want to see the election process up close, we invite you to join our Facebook Live tour (@JeffcoClerk) on November 1. No matter what’s on the ballot, we take election security seriously every time. We have already had a bipartisan team test our election equipment to ensure it will count votes accurately. Likewise, as we always do, we will have a bipartisan team audit those machines after the fact using ballots from this election. These processes are additional checks on top of what you will see on our tour, where bipartisan election judges on 24/7 surveillance and under the observation of election watchers perform each step of ballot processing, including verifying the signature on every ballot envelope before counting.

If you have additional questions about voting or the process, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the accessibility and security of our elections. And in turn, we’re counting on you to exercise your right to vote, so Jeffco can continue setting the bar for turnout, no matter who or what is on the ballot.

George Stern is the Jefferson County clerk and recorder. He lives in Golden where he also serves as a volunteer firefighter.

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