Moffat County Clerk & Recorder’s Office encourages voters to make sure addresses are up to date for June election
With the June 30 primary in Moffat County closing fast, Moffat County Clerk & Recorder Tammy Raschke is encouraging registered voters in the county to make sure their addresses are up to date ahead of the June 8 ballot mail-out.
“We’re actually asking registered voters to do this before May 29 so that there’s enough time to register the address changes prior to mailing the ballots out,” Raschke said. Additionally, the last day to change party affiliations is June 1, according to Raschke.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the June 30 primary election in Moffat County will be conducted mostly through mail-in ballot. That’s also likely to be the case for the November 3 presidential election.
Colorado was well ahead of the curve when it comes to mail-in ballots, having established the Voter Access & Modernized Election Act of 2013, passing the law to vote by mail. Since 2013, Colorado has been voting by mail for six years.
Through mail-in ballots, all eligible Colorado voters receive a ballot in the mail roughly three weeks before Election Day, Raschke said. The ballot through the mail allows voters to make their choices from the comfort of their home home, before then mailing the ballot back, or dropping it off at officially designated drop boxes.
In Moffat County, the official drop box is in front of the courthouse.
While the Clerk & Recorder’s Office is asking voters to be proactive in making sure addresses are up to date, Raschke added that if voters are unable to update their addresses by the time ballots are mailed out, they can still change their address and vote on Election Day at the Voter Service Polling Center inside the Moffat County Courthouse.
“Voting by mail ballot couldn’t be any more convenient or safe,” Raschke said.
While it certainly seems convenient, there’s still the overarching concern of voter fraud, especially for the presidential election.
Elections Coordinator Debbie Belleville says Moffat County residents shouldn’t worry about that, considering Colorado has one of the strongest security systems for voting.
“While we do have some voters mail their ballots back, most of our voters have their ballots in their hands and personally place them in the drop box outside,” Belleville said from the Elections Office inside the County Courthouse Tuesday morning.
Once ballots are dropped off in the drop box, a bipartisan team of election judges collects the ballots and then scans them into the system, much like you would scan an item at the grocery store.
From there, election judges complete signature verification on each ballot to ensure the signature on the ballot matches the system, which is one step to ensure no voter fraud occurs.
“At all times, those ballots are in the hands of a bipartisan team,” Belleville said. “The moment we get them to the moment we open them and separate them, there is always a bipartisan team handling those ballots, so it’s hard to see how voter fraud could occur.
“We have never had those issues here,” Belleville added.
Prior to starting as the Elections Coordinator under Raschke, Belleville says that she was, in fact, skeptical of mail-in ballots. However, once she started her new position, she gained a better understanding of the system and how it works, giving her full confidence in the mail-in ballot voting format.
“We really are secure here,” Belleville said. “Even after the ballots are opened, and shuffled, and counted, re-batched and scanned, it’s almost impossible to pick up a voter’s signature envelope, shuffle through ballots and put them together. There’s no markings to really put them back together; it’s almost impossible.”
While there will undoubtedly still be some skepticism surrounding voting by mail-in ballots, Belleville and Raschke encourage anyone with doubts about the system to volunteer to be an Election Judge for the presidential election in November.
“If you’re concerned about the whole process, come and apply to be an election judge,” Belleville said. “We can always use more of them. Once you’re in that room and see how the whole process works, you’ll see how secure voting by mail-in ballots really is.”
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