What to know before Election Day

Where to drop ballots, what's new in voter laws and more


Election Day is just around the corner, and Arapahoe County voters will weigh in on school boards, city councilmembers, and whether to raise taxes to build a new jail by the time polls close on Nov. 5.

Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Joan Lopez held a town hall meeting on Sept. 25 to talk about what voters should know this year and heading into 2020. Here are some highlights:

Ballots will be mailed out on Oct. 14, and 24-hour ballot drop boxes will open the same day. Voter service and polling centers will open on Oct. 28, and be open daily until 7 p.m. on Nov. 5. To find ballot drop boxes or polling centers, visit ArapahoeVotes.com.

New voters can register online at ArapahoeVotes.com, and existing voters can use the site to change their name, address, party affiliation, or to request that their ballot be sent elsewhere — such as during extended absences from the county.

Arapahoe County is looking to sign up election judges, who will perform a variety of duties including signature verification and line tending. Though the roster was full at the end of September, county officials like to maintain a list of backup judges. Visit ArapahoeVotes.com/election-judges for more information.

Starting with the presidential primary next March, 17-year-olds will be able to vote in Colorado primary elections if they will turn 18 before the general election, thanks to House Bill 19-1278.

The same bill will increase next year's required number of voter service and polling centers and 24-hour ballot drop boxes, including the addition of qualifying college campuses as drop box and polling centers. In Arapahoe County, the qualifying campuses are Arapahoe Community College in Littleton and two Community College of Aurora campuses.

Automatic voter registration will begin in July 2020. Though forms of the law have already taken effect, starting next summer voters can be automatically registered to vote through interaction with the Department of Revenue or the Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing. The law means that residents who don't want to be registered to vote must opt out by contacting the county clerk's office.

Voting rights have already been restored to parolees, thanks to House Bill 19-1266. Previously, convicted felons had to petition to have their voting rights restored, but the new law means if they're not currently in jail, they're allowed to vote.

Arapahoe County added a new voter service and polling center this year, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library at 9898 E. Colfax Ave. in Aurora, and a new 24-hour ballot drop box at 555 Second Avenue in the little town of Deer Trail along I-70.

Next year will see three elections: a presidential primary on March 3, a primary election on June 30, and the general election on Nov. 3.

For questions about Arapahoe County elections, contact Clerk and Recorder Joan Lopez at jlopez@arapahoegov.com or 720-874-3120, or Deputy Director of Elections Marissa Chamberlain at mchamberlain@arapahoegov.com or 303-738-8093.


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