Q&A: Election 2020


Vote centers around the state - more than 340 of them - are open for those who want to vote or drop ballots off in person for the Nov. 3 election.

Here in Ouray County, the vote center is at the Ouray County Courthouse, downstairs in the Elections Office. It's important for voters to know that each county manages its own election with oversight from the Colorado Secretary of State's Office. County clerks, who are elected officials in every county except Broomfield, are facing plenty of questions this year because of the spread of disinformation about the election process, said Tiffany Parker, La Plata County clerk and president of the Colorado County Clerk's Association.

''I've done seven presidential elections and I've never had to defend our process as much as I have this year," Parker said. "We represent our communities. It means a lot to us. Every vote is counted accurately and that every voter who is eligible has an opportunity to vote."

The Colorado News Collaborative and its members, including the Ouray County Pla indealer, are looking to provide answers to questions from voters and potential voters. We contact the Secretary of State's Office, county clerks and other resources to respond to our weekly updates.

Before we get to questions this week, three things to know:

If you're wondering whether you are registered to vote, you can check at GoVoteColorado.gov.

If you want to know when your ballot was mailed and when it has been accepted, sign up for ballot tracking by visiting colorado.ballottrax.net.

County clerks are ready to answer your questions, too. Here in Ouray County, you can call 970-325-4961 or email elections@ouraycountyco.gov.

On to the top questions for this week:

Why is the envelope for my ballot different than the one my friend received?

Each county decides the design of the ballot envelopes, using different colors on the exterior of the ballot while meeting state requirements for other information. Some counties may even have different designations for certain types of ballots, such as first-time voters who must provide a copy of an lD with their ballot. The envelope colors don't identify individual voters OR their party affil iation. They don't have an impact on how or whether your ballot is processed.

One of my family members is seriously ill and wants to cast a ballot. What if they die before Election Day?

If a ballot is cast before Nov. 3 when the person is alive, it will count and is legal.

I've already received my ballot at my current address but I will be moving and have an updated address on October 19th. Both addresses are in the same county. Should I submit the ballot I already received or change my address and request a new ballot be sent?

According to elections officials, "A change of address on your voter registration may impact what your ballot looks like on the local level. For this reason, we suggest that voters change their address immediately and wait to vote their new ballot." For example, here in Ouray County, you may be eligible to vote in on a measure only available within the City of Ouray (the flume tax). It's good to check with the elections office if you aren't sure.

I submitted my ballot but forgot to include the privacy sleeve. Will my vote still be counted?

Yes, it will count. The thing you don't want to forget is signing the envelope. Don't forget to do that.

If you have questions or concerns about voting in the 2020 election, text them to 303-871-1491. Help journalists and the public keep track of any issues during early voting or on Election Day. Voters can attach videos, photos, or descriptions of what they see and hear from now through Nov. 3 — or when ballot counting is finished. More than 60 news organizations across Colorado will be monitoring these texts as part of the Colorado News Collaborative.