Overseas ballots could be key in close race

If a close presidential election in Colorado hinges on ballots from overseas and military voters, it could take until Nov. 14 to determine how Colorado’s nine electoral votes will be awarded.

Mesa County elections officials are processing requests for ballots to expatriates and members of the service at about triple the usual rate, elections officials said.

Requests for overseas ballots from Mesa County tend to run about 120 or so, said Amanda Hilgenfeld, a clerk in the elections division of the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

Two hundred had been returned as of Wednesday, or 53 percent, Hilgenfeld said.

Overseas voters still can apply for ballots by fax or email, even up to the deadline to vote on Election Day, Tuesday. Ballots, however, must be cast by the deadline and ballots sent by mail have until Nov. 14 to get to the county for counting.

Clerks will verify that the ballots were cast before the deadline by consulting documentation and taking into account the country and time zone in which the ballots were filled out, Reiner said.

Overseas voters also can cast their ballots by email and fax, but officials must be able to verify that the ballots were cast before the 7 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time deadline in Mesa County.

Even electronically cast ballots, provided they were cast before the deadline, have the Nov. 14 deadline to arrive in Mesa County for processing.

Voters who cast electronic ballots overseas also must sign a waiver allowing elections officials to process their ballots and learn in the process how they voted.


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