Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold has announced that there will be 368 ballot drop boxes statewide for the Nov. 3 election.
“I am happy to announce that over the last two years Colorado has added 121 new drop boxes across the state for the 2020 General Election,” Griswold said in a Sept. 1 statement. “No American should have to choose between risking their health and exercising their right to vote. Drop boxes are a safe, secure and convenient way for Colorado voters to make their voices heard while social distancing, and are one of the reasons our elections are the nation’s gold standard.”
Funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to the tune of $160,000 has paid for 42 new boxes. Twenty-seven Colorado counties applied for those additional drop boxes, and an additional 20 additional boxes may be added across the state by Election Day, Nov. 3, according to the statement.
Saguache County Clerk and Recorder Trish Gilbert said her county is getting three new ballot drop boxes, for a total of four. It’s one of the largest counties in Colorado geographically, with a scarce population in comparison, Gilbert said in the statement.
“Many of our towns are located a great distance from our Voter Service and Polling Center, and many of our voters are without reliable transportation. Additional drop boxes will provide a safe and efficient method for voters to return their ballots without needing to travel to our VSPC and putting themselves, and others, at risk.”
Colorado has twice set new records for voter turnout, in 2018 and for the June 2020 presidential primary, in which 99.3% of those voting used mail-in ballots.
Griswold has been a staunch defender of mail-in voting in the wake of attacks by President Donald Trump, who has falsely claimed mail-in voting will result in fraud. There is no evidence of voting fraud tied to mail-in voting, either in Colorado or nationwide. Trump himself votes by mail, and did so for the Florida primary.
Ballot drop boxes are sturdy, metallic, weather-resistant and bolted to the ground. Colorado law also requires that all drop boxes be kept under 24-hour video surveillance with adequate lighting.
When drop boxes are emptied, they are done so at least every 24 hours by a team of bipartisan election judges who must maintain a detailed chain of custody log when transporting ballots between drop boxes and the central counting facility.
With 368 drop boxes statewide, there is now one drop box for approximately every 9,400 Colorado active registered voters, according to the statement.
Colorado will also have approximately 330 voting centers open, with many opening 15 days before Election Day per Colorado state law. Each voting center will have COVID-19 related procedures in place to ensure in-person voting is as safe as possible.
This story is from Colorado Politics, a statewide political and public policy news journal. Used by permission. For more, visit coloradopolitics.com.