With all of the drama swirling around the 2020 presidential election, you could easily forget that we’ll have state and local races in November this year. Montrose County Clerk and Recorder Tressa Guynes and her staff are working hard to remind you.
Guynes explained how this relatively small election will work. “It’s called a coordinated election because we will coordinate it with all of the political subdivisions within Montrose County.”
Various local ballots include two statewide measures involving TABOR (Taxpayers Bill of Rights), a City of Montrose TABOR issue, Montrose-Olathe School Board races, Delta County school district board of education and TABOR elections, a Delta County Library District TABOR issue, Norwood School District board of directors, a Town of Nucla TABOR issue, and West End school district board of education elections.
A small portion of Montrose County voters are eligible to vote in those Delta County or Norwood special district elections because little pieces of those districts are located in Montrose County.
As always, the State of Colorado has sent a blue booklet to voters, explaining statewide ballot issues. Also, counties are mailing out white booklets that explain the various local ballot issues. “We do not write this,” Guynes said. “ We gather the information from all local political subdivisions that are having TABOR issues on the ballot. We simply cut, copy, and paste. We have no opinions on this, or anything like that.”
Of course, like all Colorado elections, this will be a mail-in ballot. Voters who live in the city will receive city-style ballots, and those who live outside city limits will receive a county-style version, pertaining to where they live. “This is really a cool thing,” in Guynes’ opinion. “You can literally vote at your dining room table.” You can research candidates, or call your friends to get their opinions of candidates and ballot issues, as you vote. Guynes said, “You can educate yourself. You can read, and have time to think about your vote.”
Ballots will be mailed to voters on Monday, Oct. 14. They must be received at the county clerk’s office by 7 p.m. on Nov. 5.
Many people are concerned about exactly how private their voting information is, according to Guynes. “I get a lot of questions about that,” she said during a recent presentation at the Wednesday morning Forum in Montrose. Some voter information is public, and some is private. “Public information is your full name, your residential address, party affiliation and the date on which you registered to affiliate with your party, your phone number, your gender, your birth year, and whether voter has voted in prior elections.” But how you voted is kept strictly private, according to Guynes. “There is no way for anybody to find out how you voted,” she emphasized. Other private information includes “your driver’s license number, your full date of birth, your email address, and your social security number.”
Since your phone number is public information, you may receive annoying political robo-calls. Guynes says there are several ways to prevent them. “For one, when you register to vote, don’t include your phone number.
“The other thing you can do is to vote early, as soon as you get your ballot. As soon as my office receives your ballot, we put it on a list of people who have already voted. Then, all of a sudden, the people who are interested in making sure that you vote aren’t interested in you anymore.” Ah, if only it were that easy to get rid of other types of annoying phone calls.