Dude, Where's My Mail-In Ballot?

Web Site Also Lists Early Voting Locations

Hundreds of voters are calling their local election offices and even 7NEWS asking why they don't have their mail-in ballot yet.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Coffman announced that voters can get the status of their mail ballot, their early voting location and more information about the general election on the Web site GoVoteColorado.com .

The Web site redirects you to the Secretary of State's election Web site. Once there, voters will see daily statistics on how many people have voted.

As of Monday night, 1.5 million mail-in ballots have been sent from counties across the state. That's just over 60 percent of all active, registered voters in Colorado. So far, about 10 percent have been filled out and returned.

To find out the status of your mail-in ballot, look below that daily statistics section for the headline "Register to Vote for Future Elections." The third item under that says "Verify your Voter Registration Information."

Go to that secure site and enter your name, address, and birth date to get your voter information, including your district information, polling location for early voting and Election Day voting, and the status of your mail-in ballot.

A 7NEWS producer who lives in Denver tried the site and found out she is not getting a mail-in ballot, but was shown 16 places she could go for early voting. Another 7NEWS employee checked the Web site and was told her mail-in ballot was sent on Oct. 8 and is "in process." She received her ballot and returned it Monday.

Voters who have requested and received a mail-in ballot must vote using that ballot. If you wish to vote in person at your polling place or during early voting, you will be required to vote using a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot will be counted only if you did not vote using your mail-in ballot. Voters who wish to use accessible voting equipment instead of a mail-in ballot should contact their county clerk and recorder.

Denver's Clerk and Recorder said that the mail-in ballots are being sent by batches and the next batch of 23,000 mail-in ballots will go into the mail on Friday.

"The Denver Elections Division has received more than 180,000 requests for mail-in ballots this year. The processing of these applications is current and ballots will continue to be sent out in batches; 180,000 ballots is an unprecedented number of mail ballots," said Denver Clerk and Recorder Stephanie O'Malley.

"We have had voters show up to early vote at early voting locations even though they have requested mail-in ballots. Those voters made requests to cast provisional ballots. I understand the heightened interest in this election, but I respectfully ask the voters of the City of Denver to please be patient and to give their mail-in ballots a chance to get to them," O'Malley said.

She said Denver voters who applied for a mail-in ballot prior to October and have not received them yet may call 311 to request a replacement. However, voters who applied for a mail-in ballot in October should wait until Oct. 28 before calling.

Jefferson County clerk and recorder Pam Anderson is also asking voters who have yet to receive their mail-in ballots to be patient.

"They're in the mail," Anderson said. "They'll get to you."

Anderson also said that if a voter makes a mistake and "spoils" his or her ballot, they can bring it back to the election office and get a new one.

Jefferson County voter Madeline Fountain is having nothing to do with mail-in ballots. She went to the polls early to cast a regular ballot.

"In the past I have done mail-in ballots and I've also voted at the local elementary school which has always been a disaster with very long lines," Fountain said. "This was great. I will always do it this way in the future."

Denver voter Catherine Madore also prefers to vote early with a regular ballot, but she hasn't been able to.

"I arrived to vote early yesterday (Monday) and was told there was no ballot for me," Madore said. "No one in the gymnasium offered to make a phone call for me. No one chose to trouble shoot, to solve the problem, or to find out what was going on."

O'Malley told 7NEWS she personally visted Manual High School after learning about the issue and watched ballot security judges walk in with replacement ballots.

But Madore said she went back to Manual High Tuesday morning and they still didn't have the ballot she needed.

In Denver, registered voters can vote anywhere in the city, but they have to use a ballot that contains their their house or senate district candidates or any other races specific to their home neighborhood.

"We have 426 ballot styles," O'Malley said. "I apologize to the voter who experienced that yesterday."

O'Malley said if there aren't enough paper ballots at a polling center, voters can use the electronic machines.

Madore said she'll keep going back to Manual until they have the paper ballot she needs.

If you'd like to keep track of how many people are voting early and how many are casting mail-in ballots you can do so through the Secretary of State's website.

"Because of the cutting edge technology available through the SCORE system, Coloradans can now get a flavor of the early return numbers that were typically only provided by political parties and consultants," said Coffman.

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