• 20210317-133754-election20day

Arapahoe County’s Clerk and Recorder’s Office took home a national award for its curbside ballot pickup program, which expanded ballot access during the pandemic and served voters with disabilities.

The service allows voters to call the county’s Elections Hotline and schedule a location and time to pick up a mail or replacement ballot while remaining in their car, according to a news release. Election officials bring the ballot to the voter’s car, check the voter’s ID, and provide instructions on how to return the completed ballot.

The program won the office a 2020 Clearinghouse Award, known as a “Clearie,” awarded by the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

The group is an independent agency of the federal government created by the 2002 Help America Vote Act, and serves as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration.

“We developed Curbside Pickup primarily to keep voters and elections judges safe during the pandemic, but it was also popular with voters with disabilities that make going into a voter service center difficult, and voters with tight schedules who were able to schedule a ballot pickup at a location and time that fit their schedules,” said Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Joan Lopez in a statement. “It’s terrific to be recognized by the EAC for our work to provide this service, and we look forward to continuing to offer it, and expand it, in future elections.”

The Clearies received a record-breaking 137 nominations in 2020, according to a news release, more than triple the year before, reflecting a wave of innovation among elections officials in the face of the pandemic.