Voting by mail? Mind the dates for returning ballots

The U.S. Postal Service wants mail ballots as early as possible. The service reminds in-state Colorado vote-by-mailers to drop their mail ballots off in the mail locally by Friday, Oct. 31, and with the proper postage.

This allows additional time to ensure against possible bad weather conditions which can delay transportation and timely delivery of the mail.

In Colorado, it takes at least one day’s mail delivery time, sometimes two days for rural and outlying areas, for your mail ballot to be delivered to its destination.

Mailing early also allows for your vote by mail ballot to be counted by your county election office more efficiently, saving time and helping Colorado county election offices to finalize the total count of ballots on Election Day.

If you have not mailed out your ballot by Saturday, Nov. 1, the Postal Service recommends you drop off your ballot directly at your county election office.

The Postal Service asks voters to please refrain from dropping ballots in the mail on Monday, Nov. 3, and absolutely not on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Take it directly to your county election office.

It depends on your county and the size, weight and shape of your ballot on how much stamps/postage are required, but most Colorado mail ballots generally require at least 59 cents postage.

Voters can call the county election office to find the correct postage amount, check county election offices’ and several media Web sites for the proper amount of postage for your county election ballot, or take it to a Post Office counter for proper weighing and postage.

To save time and convenience, if you’re not sure, just add extra stamps above the regular 42-cent rate and drop it off in the mail. Or you can even drop off your mail ballot directly at your county election office without postage.

Make sure your vote by mail ballot is completely and properly filled out and signed before dropping it off in the mail. Contact your local election office with any questions about your mail ballot.

Postal political mail coordinators are working very closely with county election offices. Colorado’s mail ballots are flowing through the mail system very efficiently and being delivered to county election offices in a timely manner. Colorado postal employees are working diligently to give mail ballots and election mail the highest priority and proper handling. The U.S. Postal Service thanks Coloradans for voting by mail.