CPN resident Dick Lichtenheld (left) confers with Douglas Couty Clerk Jack Arrowsmith (right)
by Lisa Crockett
During the 2006 election, many Douglas County voters put in long hours in line in order to exercise their right to cast a ballot.
“We had high voter turnout and a very long ballot,” said Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Jack Arrowsmith. “Those factors combined meant that many voters had to wait a very long time to vote.” This year, Arrowsmith says, will be different.
“We are encouraging voters to vote by mail, to visit a vote center early, or to bring a completed sample ballot to their designated polling place on Election Day,” Arrowsmith said.
Douglas County voters can now sign up to be permanently placed on a “vote by mail” list, which ensures that they will receive a ballot for every election run by the county election commission (Note: Special districts, like the Castle Pines North Metro District, run their own elections.)
As the name implies, “vote by mail” ballots can be mailed back to the election commission and must be received (not simply postmarked) by 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Alternately, voters may drop ballots off at designated locations throughout the county.
Voters who wish to vote at a polling place may participate in early voting at locations throughout the county. Voters who want to cast a vote on Election Day, however, must do so at designated polling places. On Election Day only, paper ballots will be available in addition to voting machines.
“If we start to have congestion at the voting machines on Election Day we can give paper ballots to people waiting in line in order to speed the process,” said Arrowsmith.
After the 2006 election, all voting machines were required to go through extensive re-certification and testing in order to ensure confidentiality and security. “It is important to us to count every ballot and to account for every ballot,” said Arrowsmith.
Douglas County has upgraded features to its website for voters. On the site, voters can verify registration, request necessary forms, verify voting locations, view important dates and deadlines and link to other valuable voter tools. Visit the site at www.douglasvotes.com.
Important Election Dates:
Registration deadline to vote in primary election
August 4 – 8:
Early voting for primary election
Registration deadline to vote in general election
October 20 – 30
(including Saturday, October 25):
Early voting for general election
Primary Voting is party-specific (Democrats and Republicans host separate primaries.) Unaffiliated voters may not vote in a primary election. Citizens wishing to change party affiliation in order to vote in a primary may do so prior to the election at www.douglasvotes.com, or may go to a designated polling place on primary Election Day and fill out the necessary forms.