voting (copy)

Tracy Thompson drops off her ballot for the Colorado Springs City Municipal Election Monday, April 1, 2019, outside the City Administration Building.

El Paso County officials say they’ve seen several common mistakes on ballots this election season. Here’s a list of the most prevalent missteps and how voters can avoid them to help ensure that their ballots can be counted:

1. Voters aren’t signing their ballot envelope. Each voter must sign their own ballot envelope and verify that the name and address on the ballot is their own before signing. Anyone who mistakenly signs another envelope, such as one addressed to a spouse, can draw a line through the incorrect signature and have the correct voter sign above.

2. Voters aren’t submitting a copy of their ID with their ballot when they’re asked to. Not all voters are required to do this, but those who must submit a copy will see more specific information about what forms of identification are accepted in their ballot instructions.

3. Voters aren’t clearly marking their ballots. If a voter changes his or her mind about a candidate or issue after filling out a ballot, the voter can draw a line through the previous selection, darken the oval of the new selection and then circle the new selection.

4. Voters are making unnecessary identifying marks on their ballots. Do not sign or initial ballots, even if a correction has been made, the Clerk and Recorder’s Office advises. This protects the confidentiality of each voter’s ballot.

The county mailed ballots more than a week ago, so voters should have received them by now. They can be returned via mail or deposited in one of 24-hour ballot drop boxes across the county.

Ballots must be received by election officials by 7 p.m. Nov. 5 to be counted. The earlier that voters submit ballots, the better, Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman said.

“It is tremendously helpful for our office when voters return their ballot early,” Broerman said. “We are able to release results more quickly on election night and that benefits everyone anxious to know the outcome of the races.”

Those who haven’t received a ballot should call the county’s Elections Office at 575-8683 or visit GoVoteColorado.com to update their registration information. If voters update their registration information online by Monday, they will receive a ballot in the mail in time for the election.

Residents can also visit the Voter Service and Polling Center at the Citizens Service Center, 1675 Garden of the Gods Road, to obtain a ballot, register to vote or vote in person. More centers will open next week, according to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

For a full list of ballot drop-off locations and more information on voting in the Nov. 5 election, visit epcvotes.com.

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