More than half of voter roll votes early

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Make yourself heard

Early voting is over, but Election Day is yet to come. Go to the following vote centers from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday:

• Craig: Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way

• Maybell: Maybell Community Center, 103 Ellis

• Dinosaur: Dinosaur Town Hall, 333 S. Stegosaurus

Voters must bring photo identification to vote.

About 53 percent of active registered voters in Moffat County had cast a ballot as of Friday, either during early voting or by mail-in for the Nov. 4 general election.

Lila Herod, Moffat County chief deputy clerk and recorder, said the election has entered new territory.

"That's about like a regular election already," she said, adding that about 60 to 70 percent of active voters usually turn out to vote during a whole election cycle.

"I think we're looking at about 80 percent of registered voters" coming out to vote this year, Herod said.

With the Nov. 4 Election Day still to come, that may happen. One certainty is that local residents by and large have turned out to support candidates and issues this year.

The Moffat County Clerk and Recorder's Office ran out of paper ballots for two Craig precincts during early voting. That happened despite Herod ordering an additional 1,000 ballots because she saw how many residents were registering and activating their voter information in the run up to October.

In total, the county ordered ballots for more than 100 percent of the voter roll.

Voters were not turned away, however.

They were given the option to vote electronically or take a mail-in ballot, which they can return before 7 p.m. on Election Day.

There has been a continuing problem with paper ballots.

When a voter marks outside the set box for a candidate or ballot question, vote-counting machines refuse to take the ballot.

Marks as insignificant as small dots where someone rested their pen on the paper cause the machines to mark it as a "spoiled ballot," Herod said. Although early voters are able to run their own ballot through a machine and check for errors, voters will not have that option on Election Day.

If there are spoiled ballots Nov. 4, which Herod said there will be, then a bipartisan panel of judges will look at each ballot, determine voter intent and recreate the ballot.

It remains to be seen how many voters will appear on Election Day, but Herod said she is impressed with the activity so far.

"It's been a very, very good turnout," she said.

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