New Absentee Ballot Processed Announced
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – Aug 29, 2013] Earlier today, Judge Robert McGahey ruled on the Pueblo Clerk and Recorder’s challenge to the Secretary of State’s rules governing the Senate Recall Elections. Judge McGahey’s ruling necessitated further changes to election plans that will affect any voter seeking to use the Excuse Absentee Ballot or the Emergency Mail Ballot applications previously on the Clerk and Recorder website to vote in the Senate District 11 Recall Election.
Effective immediately, any voter that has not completed either the Excuse Absentee Ballot or the Emergency Mail Ballot applications will need to complete a revised application which is available at car.elpasoco.com. Voters wishing to complete an application for an absentee ballot to be delivered by mail will need to have their application returned to the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, September 3. Any other requests for an absentee ballot can be made in person only at the Citizens Service Center by 5:00 PM on Friday, September 6.
Based on the new rules, voters who request an absentee ballot will either be mailed the ballot (if the request is submitted by September 3) or must personally pick up the ballot (through September 6). The ballot also must now be returned to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office (or any Voter Service and Polling Center location) by 7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 10 to be counted. Both of these changes now strictly follow state statute rather than the previous rules which afforded voters greater flexibility to receive and return their ballots with the Recall Election’s condensed timeframe.
The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office fully recognizes and regrets the burden and confusion that these additional changes place on the citizens of Senate District 11. Starting with the passage of House Bill 13-1303 earlier this year, this most recent change constitutes the 6th significant change to the Recall Election process thrust upon the citizens of Senate District 11 and election administrators alike.
“We are working hard to adjust to these changes and make this election work,” stated Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams. “For the sake of the citizens of Senate District 11, I hope this is the last of the changes made to this election.”
Based on Pueblo County’s challenge to the Rules issued by the Secretary of State, earlier today the District Judge ruled that the SOS Rules cannot contradict the portions of Colorado election law that are not unconstitutional Therefore, several changes important to voters are occurring:
1. All residents may request a ballot be mailed to them. BUT
a. If the request is not received by the Clerk & Recorder by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, September 3, the ballot cannot be mailed.
b. The ballot cannot be electronically transmitted from our office to the individual, but instead must be mailed (for requests received by September 3) or picked up by the voter at our main office by Friday, September 6.
c. The ballot must be returned to the Clerk & Recorder by 7 p.m. on September 10. Colorado law provides the eight-day return extension (with mailing by 9/10) only to UOCAVA voters.
d. For voters who submit the prior form by the September 3rd deadline will be mailed the ballot as provided above.
e. We are contacting the 53 voters who previously were sent excuse-based ballots electronically and we are mailing them a ballot.
2. New forms for emergency (for which electronic transmission but not hand-delivery is permitted) and for mail-in ballot will be placed on our website as soon as we have them. The SOS anticipates this will be by the end of the day to day.
3. Several other minor changes were made.