Denver’s AWOL mail-in ballots reappear

(Photo/aperryz302, Flickr)

(Photo/aperryz302, Flickr)

The case of the absent ballots is over. A Denver mail facility reportedly received a batch of about 18,000 mail-in ballots on Monday that had previously gone unaccounted for. But while Denver’s mail-in voters can rest easy with their ballots on the way, they’ll have to scramble to get them in on time.

The problem arose last week when Denver County election officials learned that a mail-in ballot delivery was missing thousands of forms. Officials originally thought that they were short 11,000 ballots, though the number turned out to be 18,000. Sequoia Voting Systems, the California-based printer hired by Denver County, said that it had delivered a large shipment, but Denver received a smaller load, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

Sequoia was found responsible for the absent forms due to a glitch in its data file. And the Denver County Clerk and Recorder’s office issued robocalls to the voters who were affected by the mix-up.

The missing mail-in ballots arrived in Denver today, and voters should receive them on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Denver County Clerk and Recorder’s Office spokesman Alton Dillard. But that doesn’t leave the 18,000 individuals much time to cast their ballots. Dillard said in an e-mail that the United States Postal Service recommends that voters mail in their forms by this Friday, Oct. 31. But two weeks ago, Marcela Rivera, the customer relations coordinator with the Denver post office, told the Colorado Independent that she urges voters to submit their ballots a day earlier, on Oct. 30.

“We accept mail-in ballots at all early voting sites and at all 185 precinct polling places on Election Day if a voter is uncomfortable with the turnaround time,” Dillard said.

Dillard also said that the Clerk and Recorder’s Office made accommodations for out-of-state Colorado voters affected by the mail-in glitch by pulling those individuals’ names off of the list and overnighting their forms to them. And for other travelers, Dillard said that “anyone who is leaving town tomorrow can request a replacement ballot here at the Elections Division and vote it.”

Colorado voters have until Tuesday, Oct. 28. to request a mail-in ballot. Around 1.6 million mail-in ballots have been sent out in Colorado so far.

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Naomi Zeveloff

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