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Basic election facts

Increasing numbers of signs are dotting yards, pamphlets are being handed out, and promises are scattered across political ads in the media, meaning only one thing — election season is again upon us.

While the last day to register to vote or to change or withdraw from major political party affiliation for the primary election has passed, a number of ways to vote and important dates remain on the calendar.

Party primary

The State of Colorado votes by political party for primary elections, meaning there will be two ballots — a Democratic ballot and a Republican ballot.

Only those candidates competing within each party will appear on that party’s ballot. Opposing party candidates will not appear until the general election ballot in November.

Unaffiliated candidates

Unaffiliated voters wishing to participate in the primary election may affiliate with a party at the clerk’s office anytime before the primary election, or at the polling place on primary election day.

After the primary, unaffiliated voters who affiliated with a party for purposes of participation may choose to return to their unaffiliated status by reregistering with the clerk.

County commissioner race

While Republican ballots will include a choice to vote for either Robert Hart or Bob Moomaw, a July 19 withdrawal from the District 3 county commissioner race by Moomaw (see related article) means that all votes cast for Moomaw will be deemed invalid and will not be counted.

Mail-In Ballots

There are three ways voters can obtain a mail-in ballot. First, voters can call the Archuleta County Clerk’s election office at 264-8331 and request a mail-in ballot application over the phone. As a second option, voters can send a written mail-in ballot request to the clerk’s election office.

The address is: Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder, P.O. Box 2589, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Voters sending a written request must include their full name, physical address, party affiliation, the last four numbers of their social security number and their date of birth. The request must be signed and dated.

Third, voters can pick up a mail-in ballot at the elections office, downstairs at the Archuleta County Courthouse.

Key Dates

Aug. 2 to Aug. 6, 2010.

Early voting in the clerk’s election office, downstairs in the Archuleta County Courthouse.

The precincts for both mail-in (formerly absentee) and early voting will be in the county elections office. Mail-in (absentee) ballots may be picked up or applied for, and also returned there.

Voters may also drop off mail-in ballots at the county clerk’s office. Early voting will be held in the election’s office, downstairs in the courthouse. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Aug. 2

Last day for judicial candidates to file a Declaration of Intent.

Aug. 3

Last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the primary election if the ballot is to be mailed.

Aug. 6

Last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the primary election if the ballot is picked up in person.

Aug. 10

Primary election day. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Vote centers

Although Archuleta County residents still vote by precinct, registered voters can vote at any of three polling centers.

• Archuleta County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, 449 San Juan Street.

• Pagosa Springs Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd.

• Restoration Fellowship Church, 264 Village Drive, (behind the west side City Market).

The primary ballot

The following are the office nominations that will be voted on at the Aug. 10, 2010, primary election. Following are the contested races that will be represented on the ballots.

• Federal offices.

United States Senator:

Republican — Ken Buck, Jane Norton.

Libertarian — Maclyn “Mac” Stringer, John Finger.

Democratic — Andrew Romanoff, Michael Bennet.

Representative to the 112th United States Congress District 3:

Republican — Scott Tipton, Bob McConnell.

• State offices.

Governor:

Republican — Dan Maes, Scott McInnis.

Libertarian — Dan “Kilo” Sallis, Jaimes Brown.

State treasurer:

Republican — J.J. Ament, Walker Stapleton.

State Senate District 6:

Republican — Dean Boehler, Ellen Roberts.

• County offices.

County assessor:

Republican — Natalie Woodruff, Keren L. Prior.

County Coroner:

Republican — Richard Aldahl, Carl R. Macht.

General election

The general election will take place on Nov. 2, also with a number of key dates leading up to Election Day.

• Aug. 24 — Last day for a write-in candidate to file an Affidavit of Intent for the general election.

• Oct. 4 — Last day to register to vote for the general election.

• Oct. 18 — Early voting begins.

• Oct. 26 — Last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the general election if mailed.

• Oct. 29 — Last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the general election if picked up at the county clerk’s office.

• Oct. 29 — Last day for early voting.

• Nov. 2 — General election.

randi@pagosasun.com