DENVER – The Denver Clerk and Recorder announced Thursday that ballots for November’s General Election will be mailed out to voters at first-class rates to be sure they arrive early enough for voters to review.
Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul López made the announcement in response to policy changes at the U.S. Postal Service that have been decried by Colorado election leaders, among others, who have said that Postal Service delays will negatively fact mail-ballot states like Colorado. Attorney General Phil Weiser has challenged the changes in court.
“By mailing ballots at the first-class rate, we are ensuring that Denver voters have the time they need to make informed choices on the lengthy ballot this fall,” López said in a statement. “In addition to electing federal and state officials, there are judges up for retention plus numerous state and local ballot issues that will require research. Voters shouldn’t be forced to rush their decisions if their ballots arrive later than expected.”
Denver ballots have previously been mailed at standard rates but were prioritized by USPS but López said he wanted to ensure there were no snafus with delivery this year amid the changes.
Ballots will be mailed out starting Oct. 9 – the same day as Sen. Cory Gardner and challenger John Hickenlooper square off in a debate hosted by Denver7, The Denver Post, and CPR News.
Denver will have 38 ballot drop boxes around town this year, which voters can use 24 hours a day. About 80% of Denver voters use drop boxes, said Denver Elections Division spokesperson Alton Dillard.
The Denver ballot will have three double-sided cards and 23 state and local questions for voters to decide. They will be sent in English and Spanish, with sample ballots translated into Vietnamese, Russian, Arabic, Somali and Amharic posted at the Election Division’s website.
Ballots will be sent out through first-class mail, and voters can use one Forever Stamp to ensure ballots are mailed if they do not drop them off.
But voters need to mail that ballot back no later than Oct. 26 to be sure it arrives and is counted by Election Day on Nov. 3.
Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D), who has been fervently pushing back against several false claims from President Trump and his administration about mail-ballot voting, said earlier this week that there would be 368 drop boxes across the state – up from 247 in 2018. There will also be around 330 voting centers open across Colorado.
Griswold on Thursday slammed the president and U.S. attorney general for remarks they made Wednesday encouraging voters to commit voter fraud:
"Correcting misinformation about our elections is an important part of the job that I was elected to do by Coloradans. 2020 has been unprecedented in so many ways, but I never imagined that as Secretary of State I would have to inform both the President and the U.S. Attorney General that it is illegal to vote twice.
"The President’s statement yesterday instructing voters to attempt to vote twice, and the Attorney General’s stated ignorance on the illegality of voting twice, encourages illegal behavior intended to undermine confidence in elections. In Colorado we take attempts of double voting seriously, have preventative safeguards in place, and refer any suspected cases to the Colorado Attorney General or county District Attorneys for legal enforcement."