General Election early voting under way in Moffat County

Beckett: Voters who have not received a ballot should contact elections office

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General Election voting centers

What: 2012 General Election

When: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6

Where: Centennial Mall of Craig, 1111 W. Victory Way; Hamilton Community Center, 17400 S. Colorado Highway 13; Maybell Community Center, 406 Collom Street; Dinosaur Library, 400 W. School Street.

Early voting under way through Friday at the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way. There will be no Election Day voting at the courthouse.

Voters expecting a mail-in ballot and who have not yet received one are encouraged to call the Moffat County elections office, 970-824-9120.

Quotable...

“We conduct early voting, mail ballot, Election Day and provisional, so we really have four different elections going on at the same time. It’s confusing, it’s expensive.”

— Lila Herod, Moffat County clerk and recorder, about the voting structure for the 2012 general election.

Moffat County Elections Supervisor Stephanie Beckett reported last Wednesday that 1,346 voters already had cast their ballot in the 2012 general election.

That’s because mail-in ballots were sent Oct. 15 to registered voters all across the state.

But ballots were only sent to voters that had requested them.

In Moffat County, 2,953 ballots were mailed to voters, Beckett said.

Voters can returning those ballots or vote by machine at the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way.

Of the 1,346 locals who had taken advantage of early voting so far, 1,075 were mail-in ballot voters and another 271 elected to vote in person by machine.

With 9,490 registered voters in Moffat County, that’s a voter turnout rate of 14 percent.

Not bad, Beckett said, considering the general election still is eight days away.

“We are rockin’ with just three days of early voting,” Beckett said last week. ”To their credit, the voters are calling, asking questions and they got registered. There’s a lot of interest in this election.”

Although on pace to be successful in terms of voter turnout, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod said this election is not without its share of confusion.

Because the last three elections were conducted entirely by mail-in ballot, many local voters assume their general election ballot is in the mail.

But it is illegal in Colorado to conduct a general election entirely by mail-in ballot, Herod said.

“We conduct early voting, mail ballot, Election Day and provisional, so we really have four different elections going on at the same time,” Herod said. “It’s confusing, it’s expensive.”

The only voters who received a mail-in ballot so far are those who either requested one or who opted to be on the state’s permanent mail-in voter list when they registered to vote.

But it is not too late to request one, Beckett added. Tuesday marks the deadline for requesting a ballot in the mail and voters may do so by calling the elections office at 970-824-9120.

In addition to Tuesday being the last day to request a mail-in ballot, Friday marks the end of the early voting period. Voters who do not meet the early voting deadline will have to wait until Election Day to cast their ballot.

Although the courthouse has been the site of early voting and will continue to accept mailed or hand delivered mail-in ballots until 7 p.m. Nov. 6, it is not going to be a polling location on Election Day.

Election Day polling centers will be housed at the following locations, including the Centennial Mall of Craig, 1111 W. Victory Way; Hamilton Community Center, 17400 S. Colorado Highway 13; Maybell Community Center, 406 Collom St.; and the Dinosaur Library, 400 W. School St..

Election season can be a confusing time, Beckett said. Voters are encouraged to call her with questions at 970-824-9120.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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