Election process is underway

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Election Day is Nov. 5, but mail-in ballots were scheduled to be sent to residents Oct. 15, starting the election process that concludes when the polls close at 7 p.m. on Election Day.

This year, Arapahoe County is conducting a coordinated election using mail-in ballots. Matt Crane, Arapahoe County clerk and recorder, said at an Oct. 11 election information session that some voters return completed ballots soon after they receive them.

“We usually have quite a few ballots sent back about a week or so after ballots were mailed,” he said. “Then, the volume of returned ballots slows down until near Election Day, when the number of ballots received picks up dramatically.”

The county mailed out more than 343,000 ballots. Mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Nov. 5 to be counted. Postage required to return the ballot by mail is 66 cents, so placing two first-class stamps on the return envelope is recommended.

Ballots can be returned by mail or taken to one of the 19 drop-off sites around the county. There is a drive-through ballot drop-off at the Arapahoe County Administration Building at 5334 S. Prince St. and another one at the Arapahoe County Elections Warehouse at 5351 S. Federal Blvd. Ballots also can be taken to one of the four voter service and polling centers. The location and hours for the drop-off sites and voter centers are listed on the website at www.arapahoevotes.com; click on “2013 Election Information” and follow the links.

“We have established four voter service and polling centers that will be open starting Oct. 15 and will offer a variety of services to the voter,” Crane said. “Residents can register to vote, update voter registration, request a mail-in ballot, request a replacement mail-in ballot, drop off mail-in ballots and, starting Oct. 15, residents can cast ballots at voting machines.”

The four voting service and polling centers are located at the Aurora Motor Vehicles Branch Office at 490 S. Chambers Road; the Centennial Motor Vehicle Branch Office at 6954 S. Lima St.; the Littleton Election Office at 5334 S. Prince St.; and the Byers Motor Vehicle Branch Office at 538 N. Highway 36.

Residents can still register to vote online until Oct. 28 and can register to vote in person up to the time the polls are closed on Election Day.

Crane urged residents to use the county website at www.arapahoevotes.com as an information source.

“Our pages have been redesigned to provide resident with a lot of information about the election and voting,” the county clerk said. “The redesign was aimed at making the website easier to navigate. For example, the page has navigation to the desired area by image.”

There are five areas of information on the website: voter registration, where to go, election results, election information and my information.

The election information area includes a sample ballet, candidate contact information and a way to track a mail-in ballot.

Some areas to help voters under the “my information” section includes registration information, a way a voter can find out what precinct he or she lives in and who the elected representatives for that precinct are, including federal, state and local officeholders.

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