It explored using the World Arena, Victory World Outreach and Hillside Community Center to provide a southern voting location, but none of these facilities could accommodate the requirements.
So the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office may be leasing space at the Citadel mall this autumn to provide an early-voting location for the November election that's accessible to the central and southern Colorado Springs areas.
In a county commissioners meeting last Thursday, Democratic Party members expressed concern that people from those areas — which typically go more "blue" than other parts of the city — would be put at a disadvantage for early voting. The other three sites for early voting are the Citizens Service Center on Garden of the Gods Road; the clerk's office at the corner of Powers Boulevard and Airport Road; and Chapel Hills Mall.
In 2008, a total of 37,135 people voted early. The clerk's office used Centennial Hall downtown as one of its three sites that year, but found that it wasn't an ideal situation due to limited parking and potentially difficult access in the auditorium. It was the least-used location.
Meanwhile, "the mall offices offer us massive amounts of parking as well as flexible hours," says Alissa Vander Veen, chief deputy at the clerk's office.
Early voting will begin Monday, Oct. 22, 15 days before Election Day. The two mall locations would be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., while the clerk's offices will run 8 to 5.