Rumor spurs Arapahoe voters to give up mail ballots

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Some voters are turning in their mail-in ballots to Arapahoe County election officials at early-voting centers becasue of an unfounded rumor that mail-in votes won’t be counted in this election.

Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Doty said about 100 people came to early-voting locations Monday and asked to return their ballots and vote by machine instead.

There is no reason to give up ballots received in the mail, Doty said. Every ballot counts as long as it is received by 7 p.m. on Election Day,  Doty said. Giving up ballots is legal under election law but entails more administrative work at the polling place, she said.

“I have no idea where the rumor came from. I heard the same rumor in 2010,” Doty said. Her office sent out a news release advising citizens to disregard the rumor.

“If you received a mail-in ballot, there is no need to go to the polls to cast a substitute ballot on a machine,” Doty said. “Take your time to consider the candidates and issues from the comfort of your home, and then drop off your mail-in ballot with total confidence that it will count, just the same as any vote cast on a voting machine.”

In Arapahoe County, mail-in ballots cost 65 cents in postage. In Jefferson County, the ballots can be mailed for 45 cents.

Josh Liss, deputy of elections for Jefferson County, said he hadn’t heard of anyone in Jeffco trying to turn in a mail-in ballot under the belief that the mail-in votes won’t count.  

Some 860 people voted on the first day of early voting in Arapahoe County. In 2008, 1,047 people voted on the first day, Doty said. In Jefferson County 725 people voted on the first day of early voting, which is normally the busiest.

For voting details visit www.arapahoevotes.com, or in Jefferson County, www.votejeffco.com.