Most Colorado towns have closed the public’s general access to the interiors of their town halls to protect people and town staffs during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, towns holding elections have been encouraging people to deposit their completed ballots in those towns’ drop-off boxes, an elections practice that state and local officials have said won’t violate stay-at-home directives as long as voters maintain a safe distance from one another when they are dropping those ballots off.
All ballots have to be in the possession of voters’ town clerks by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Election Day. It is too late to mail back completed ballots in order for town clerks to receive them by 7 o’clock Tuesday night in order for those votes to be counted.
Towns also have been providing opportunities and safety procedures for voters to arrange to pick up and cast replacement ballots if they’ve lost or damaged the originals, if they need to and can do so by 7 p.m. Tuesday.
In Boulder County and southwest Weld County:
- Erie: Voters can deposit their ballots in a drop-off box on the west side of Town Hall, 645 Holbrook St. Voters also can take their ballots to a Voter Service Center until 7 p.m. Tuesday, in the Erie Town Hall Board Room and accessible through the doors on the east side of Town Hall, according to Deputy Town Clerk Joanne Salser.
- Firestone: Voters can deposit their ballots in a drop-off box outside the south side of Firestone Town Hall, 151 Grant Ave. People needing to get replacement ballots can do so by going to the Town Hall’s main entrance from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, where there will be limited access, and they can arrange in advance to have those replacement ballots ready for them to pick up by calling Firestone Town Clerk Jessica Koenig at 303-531-6224 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Frederick: Voters can deposit their ballots in a drop-off box outside the Carbon Valley Recreation Center, 701 Fifth St. People needing replacement ballots can arrange to get them at Frederick Town Hall, 401 Locust St., by calling Town Clerk Meghan Martinez in advance, at 720-382-5581, or by emailing her at email@example.com.
- Lyons: Voters can deposit their ballots in a drive-by drop-off location outside the main entrance to Lyons Town Hall, 432 Fifth Ave., or from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, inside Town Hall, in the Shirley F. Johnson Council Chambers, according to Deputy Town Clerk Marissa Davis.
- Mead: Voters can deposit their ballots in a drop-off box outside the north entrance to Mead Town Hall, 441 Third St. Town Clerk Mary Strutt said voters needing replacement ballots can contact her by calling 970-805-4182 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Nederland: Voters can deposit their ballots in a drop-off box to the left of the main doors of the Nederland Community Center: 750 Highway 72. Town Clerk Miranda Fisher said if someone needs to get a replacement ballot, they should contact Town Hall at 303-258-3266, extension 0, and leave a message, and that town staff will follow up and arrange to provide that ballot.
On Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis issued a “guidance” memo providing for local governments holding Tuesday’s elections, one in which he said that “during this pandemic emergency, it is essential that we protect Coloradans’ health and safety and limit the public’s exposure to COVID-19 while preserving our right to vote in free and fair elections.”
Several clerks contacted Monday said they have planned safety precautions for their town staffs, volunteers and election judges who will be opening ballot ballot envelopes, processing ballots and counting votes on Tuesday.
Frederick’s Martinez, for example, said that town’s team will be equipped with gloves, masks and other protective gear.