Mail ballots in Teller County have mistake

June 6, 2012
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Voters in Teller County who received mail ballots for the June 26 primary election should wait before sending those back, County Clerk & Recorder J.J. Jamison said Wednesday.

Ballots were mailed Monday but did not have an affirmation or signature line on the return envelopes. Election officials check those signatures against voter registration signatures before declaring each a legal ballot.

The mistake will cost Teller County nothing, Jamison said. On Wednesday, ES&S of Seattle, Wash., mailed each voter a sticker with an affirmation and signature line, to be affixed to the return envelope. The ballot should be placed inside a secrecy envelope that came with the ballot, and that goes inside the return envelope, Jamison said. Instructions on what to do with the sticker are included in the new mailing.

“We are being as proactive as we can, as quick as we can,” Jamison said. “We’re doing everything we can to cure this.”

Voters can visit one of the two Teller County Clerk & Recorder offices and pick up a sticker with the signature line. The offices are at the Teller County Courthouse, 101 W. Bennett Ave. in Cripple Creek, and the Woodland Park Branch Office at 540 Manor Court.

If a voter has already mailed in their ballot, Jamison said, “We will be contacting them.” By law, ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. on June 26 but voters have an extra eight days after the election to sign their mail ballot envelopes.

About 4,100 affiliated voters — those on the county’s permanent mail list —received their ballots Tuesday. The rest of the county’s primary voters, who are unaffected, will cast ballots at polling centers throughout the county in early voting or on June 26.

Jamison contacted the Colorado Secretary of State’s office about the mistake and they’ve worked together to solve the problem.

“We’ll be OK on this,” said Secretary of State Scott Gessler. “I know in about every election, somehow, some way, a mistake is made. People run elections and people make mistakes.”

Jamison said voters should attach the sticker to the back of the return envelope, near the flap, but not cover the bar code or return address.

“I take complete responsibility for this mistake,” said Jamison, who was elected about 18 months ago. “This is giving me the opportunity to speak to a lot of citizens, and they’ve been so kind and so understanding.”

Jamison said one citizen was especially appreciative of her efforts Tuesday.

“I had a marriage proposal from a gentleman,” Jamison said. “I told him he’d have to ask my husband.”

Contact Bob Stephens: 636-0276 Twitter @bobgstephens

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