LTTE: The election is upon us; your votes are safe in Larimer County

LTTE%3A+The+election+is+upon+us%3B+your+votes+are+safe+in+Larimer+County

Collegian | Trin Bonner

Guest Author

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. Letters to the Editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval.

The election is upon us. All active registered voters were mailed their ballots. The final day to return your ballot is Election Day, Nov. 8. My office must receive them by 7 p.m.

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The concept of Election Day as the day you should vote has not been the reality for many, many years. Instead, Election Day represents the deadline and the day that you will finally see the results of votes cast — or at least some results.

Lately, there have been calls by various groups to wait to vote, skip the mail ballot and vote in person at the polling site. While voting in person has always been an option for our citizens in Colorado, very few over the years have utilized this approach, especially since 2013, when every active registered voter in Colorado began receiving a ballot in the mail.

Please know, it doesn’t matter whether you vote in person at a voting site or choose to vote via the mail ballot you received — all ballots are paper ballots, and all ballots have the necessary chains of custody and will be transported to our counting facility and will be counted in the same manner.

“I give you my strongest assurances that Larimer County elections are conducted with the highest integrity and with the appropriate checks and balances and auditing in place to ensure any perceived or actual vulnerabilities cannot be successfully exploited.”

When I was a rookie clerk, I was going to be the one to completely count all ballots before leaving on election night. I thought it was silly that this could not be accomplished. Well, we managed to accomplish this goal, but it meant that I had judges leaving the counting facility at 6 a.m. the next morning.

I had just worked them for nearly 24 hours, and many of them were seasoned veterans. I came starkly to my senses and began to pray. I fervently prayed that they would all make it home safe, knowing that if anyone was injured or killed going home because of my arrogance and ego, I would never forgive myself.

I vowed that morning that I would never do that again, but I still didn’t like the feeling of people wondering when we would stop counting for the night and certainly didn’t want anyone to ever think that we stopped because we didn’t like the results. So, I asked my staff to research how many ballots we could process in one day. That sweet spot is 20,000 ballots. Armed with this information, I provided clarity to the press and to our citizens so everyone knows in advance how things will go.  

Who cares what I want? What matters is what the citizens want — if you want election night results, you will vote early. Otherwise, if we receive more than 20,000 ballots on Election Day, we will stop and continue counting the next day.

Just to be clear, waiting until Election Day to vote will likely mean delayed results. And what happens if you find yourself in a personal crisis on Election Day?

The noise about waiting to vote to avoid some kind of election fraud issue is simply hogwash. Our processes, our system and the election outcome are in no way affected by your waiting to vote and/or doing so in person.  The only thing it does is potentially cause you to wait in line at a voting site on Election Day, delay results and create an opportunity for unforeseen circumstances to risk your vote altogether.

As your representative elected to oversee Larimer County election processes for nearly 10 years now, a person who lives in your neighborhoods, looks you in the eye on a regular basis and considers election integrity to be my highest calling, I give you my strongest assurances that Larimer County elections are conducted with the highest integrity and with the appropriate checks and balances and auditing in place to ensure any perceived or actual vulnerabilities cannot be successfully exploited.  

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Please don’t let the noise get in your head. Get your ballot voted and returned to us for counting at your first opportunity. Every vote matters!

Angela Myers

Larimer County Clerk and Recorder

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