By Randi Pierce | Staff Writer
Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder Kristy Archuleta is encouraging voters to drop off their voted ballots to a drop box or Voter Service and Polling Center (VSPC) — and no longer return them via mail — to ensure the ballots are received by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8.
Unofficial election results for contested local races and Ballot Issue 1A will be posted on PagosaSUN.com when available, with more results and election info included in the Nov. 10 issue of The SUN.
Ballots must be returned no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. Post marks do not count.
As of late Monday, Archuleta reported, 2,300 ballots had been returned.
The county has three VSPCs for next week’s general election, as well as two secured drop boxes.
In addition to the VSPC at the Archuleta County Election’s Office at 449 San Juan St., Archuleta noted there will also be VSPCs at the Archuleta County Extension Building at 344 U.S. 84 and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA) Clubhouse located at 230 Port Ave.
According to an election notice from the county, the VSPC at the Archuleta County facility on San Juan Street will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday through Nov. 8, 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 5, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8.
The VSPCs at the Extension building and PLPOA Clubhouse will be open only on Election Day, Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The two drop boxes are located at the courthouse building at 449 San Juan St. (outside on the sidewalk near the flagpoles) and at the TARA Community Center at 333 Milton lane in Arboles.
According to the county’s election notice, the drop boxes will have 24/7 video surveillance.
How to register to vote and obtain a ballot
Eligible residents can register to vote up to and including Election Day either online or at the Archuleta County Election’s Office/VSPC.
In order to receive a ballot for next week’s election, the county notes citizens must now register to vote or update their voter record and receive their ballot at the Election Office through Election Day. Ballots can no longer be mailed to voters.
More information on eligibility and registering to vote can be found at http://www.archuletacounty.org/192/Elections or www.GoVoteColorado.gov.
Those with questions should call the Archuleta County Election’s Office at (970) 264-8331.
On Monday, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order to support statewide election cybersecurity beginning Oct. 31 and stretching for up to 30 days following the election.
The order activates members of the Colorado National Guard for cybersecurity defense to assist with keeping the Colorado general election secure, which the state notes has been done in years prior.
“While cyber actors are unable to modify voter records, breaches could result in the release of voters’ personally identifiable information. The exposure of voters’ personally identifiable information does not threaten the integrity of our State elections, but could undermine public confidence in the system and suppress voter registration. The Colorado National Guard Defensive Cyber Operations Element has unique cyber capabilities to assist in protecting critical election infrastructure,” the executive order states.