Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is recommending voters not try to mail their ballots for this year's election to be sure they arrive in time to be counted.

Although the election is a week away and mail usually gets delivered within a few days, voters should play it safe and instead drop their ballots off at designated voting centers or drop-off boxes, Williams said Monday.

"I have worked very hard to provide funding for our county clerks to set up 24-hour drop boxes so voters can drop off their ballots any time of the day or night," Williams said. "In Colorado, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to vote."

Over the weekend, Republican voters statewide continued to cast more ballots than Democrats, although Democratic voters did manage to cut that gap by more than half. 

As of Monday morning, the latest statewide figures available, more than 219,000 Republicans had cast ballots compared to about 216,600 Democrats. That 2,400-vote difference improves on the 5,000-vote gap on Friday, according to the Secretary of State's Office.

More than 176,000 unaffiliated voters have cast ballots, up from 132,000 on Friday.

In Mesa County, only about 4,800 Democrats have taken advantage of early voting, while nearly 10,000 Republicans have already cast ballots. Unaffiliated voters outpaced Democrats in the county, casting nearly 6,000 since early voting began two weeks ago.

Voters who go to a vote center or use a drop box do not need to use stamps.

Voter and polling centers in each county are to be open daily through Election Day, except for Sunday.

Monday was the final day for voters to request a ballot. Starting today, those voters who don't already have a ballot must go to a polling center to vote in person.

Voting and polling centers are open are at:

■ Mesa County Central Services, 200 S. Spruce St.

■ Fruita Civic Center, 325 E. Aspen Ave.

■ Colorado Mesa University, 1100 North Ave.

■ Goodwill, 630 24½ Road.

■ Clifton Hall, 126 Second St.

■ Mesa County Fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. Highway 50.

Those centers are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and  7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Election Day.

Drop-off ballot boxes around the county are located at:

■ Mesa County Central Services, 200 S. Spruce St.

■ Grand Valley Transit West, 612 24½ Road.

■ Mesa County Human Services, 510 29½ Road

■ PeachTree Shopping Center, 3225 I-70 Business Loop

■ Fruita Civic Center, 325 E. Aspen Ave.

To find the nearest voting or polling center or drop off box, go to www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/VIP.html.

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