EL PASO COUNTY — Early voting is happening at a record pace this year, yet there remains potential for long lines on election day. "I want people to have a positive experience,” said El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, Chuck Broerman, “I don't want people in the late afternoon or evening out in the dark in a line."
El Paso County voters have returned more than 200,000 ballots. With an estimation of 80 to 90% voter turnout, it means more than 200,000 votes are possible by election day.
Broerman is urging voters to get to drop off locations before election day. There are polling places, but the intent of the locations is for people to update their voter registration, also replace damaged or mismarked ballots.
This year the number one reason a drop box is better than a polling place is the pandemic "There's a real risk of COVID,” said Broerman, “We're seeing a bump up in the number of cases and we want to keep people safe."
“The ballots extremely long,” Broerman points this out because in person voting always takes longer. With this year’s ballot it could cause even longer lines.
Getting ballots in early can also expedite results when polls close at 7:00 p.m. If voters are in line when polls close, they get to vote. They also delay the vote tally. It does not happen until voting in the county is complete.
"There's no better system in the country to have your voice heard than the Colorado model," said Broerman. He says Colorado's system of mail and drop-off ballots has been tried and successful through multiple elections.