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Registered voters should verify they received the correct ballot

Lots of town ballots mailed out this week

By Mark Reaman

Voters living in a place with an election question should receive their ballots in the mail this week. These voters are primarily people who reside in the town of Crested Butte and/or in the Crested Butte Fire Protection District. But a question about the number of Crested Butte ballots being mailed could come into play during the election.

Gunnison County Elections Division manager Diane Folowell said ballots were sent out beginning on Monday, October 16. “There are 1,359 registered active voters in the town of Crested Butte,” she reported. “That is the same number of ballots there were mailed on Monday.”

Given that the state department of local affairs cites Crested Butte as having a total population of 1,580, 1,359 is an inordinately high number of ballots. In the past, the council has expressed concern that people who once lived and voted in Crested Butte did not change their address when moving out of town and still get Crested Butte ballots. Since such voters might have kept their post office box, they did not follow through with a formal address change.

In August 2015 the town and county clerk worked together and sent out 2,873 confirmation letters to the specified voters. According to Crested Butte town clerk Lynelle Stanford, 503 confirmation letters were returned by December 2015.

“Of that total, 398 reflected changes of physical address within the town of Crested Butte. Forty-eight returned letters indicated the voter had moved outside of Gunnison County or the state of Colorado,” Stanford explained. “Seven voters returned letters withdrawing voter registration for unspecified reasons and 50 voters returned letters stating all of their information was correct as mailed.”

Stanford said using a correct address to obtain a correct ballot is ultimately up to the voter. “Voters should be voting within their correct jurisdiction based upon where they live, which requires keeping both mailing and physical addresses up to date,” she said. “Keeping addresses up to date is easy, and ultimately, it is up to the voter to take the initiative. Each mail ballot voter signs the envelope affirming the information is correct.”

October 30 is the last day to submit an application to register to vote through the mail, a voter registration agency, a local driver’s license examination facility, or online to receive a mail ballot for the coordinated election. Stanford said you may register to vote up to actual election day on November 7, but you would need to cast your vote in person at a polling place.

If you live out of town but received a Crested Butte ballot, you can contact the Gunnison County Elections Office to correct the situation; call 641-7927. To correct an address online go to www.govotecolorado.com, or a paper form can be submitted to the county clerk before casting a ballot.

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