Of the mail ballots issued for this year's election, nearly half have been returned already, according to the latest reports from the Grand County Clerk and Recorder's Office.
As of Oct. 29, Grand County had received 2,826 mail ballots out of 5,871 it sent out. Adding those ballots to the ballots of 297 early voters over the past five days, about 37 percent of Grand County's 8,589 active voters have already cast their ballots.
Non-active voters (meaning those who did not vote in the last election but are still registered to vote) can still vote in this election, according to Sara Rosene, Grand County Clerk.
There have been several reports of ballot stubs detached from mail ballots. According to Rosene, the detached stubs occurred due to over-perforated edges, that when folded, caused stubs to fall off inside envelopes. Such ballots with detached stubs are still valid ballots and can be filled out and mailed, with the stub put into the envelope with the ballot.
Ballots without stubs will still be counted. "A detached stub is not a reason to refuse to count a ballot," she said.
A stub detached from the ballot also does not compromise privacy of voting, Rosene said. "We don't even look at the ballot until the identifying information is removed from it," she said.
Even with stubs detached from ballots, Rosene encourages voters to vote on their mail ballots and send them in or drop them off at the Grand County Administration Building, rather than get new ballots at the polls. Getting a new ballot would mean getting a new provisional ballot, and those ballots will not be counted until Nov. 15, delaying results of the election.
Early voting is taking place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Grand County Administration Building and will continue through Friday, Nov. 2. After that, voters can cast ballots at their respective polling locations on Election Day. For those who do not know the location of their polling location, go to govotecolorado.com.
Election officials plan to count and post early voting results on Election Day, Nov. 6.