DENVER (CBS4)– Delays in mail delivery nationwide have prompted Denver’s Election Division to switch to first class postage this election. There are more than 500,000 registered voters in Denver- 5,000 more in just the last 2 months.
The move to first class mail will cost the city $130,000 on top of the $73,000 it typically spends on postage.
“We just want to make sure that folks get their ballots on time, no matter what happens on the federal level and given the pandemic,” said Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul Lopez.
Lopez said the Election Division has a special fund for emergencies and potential delays in mail delivery called for emergency action.
“It’s money well spent to ensure that our ballots get to the voters in time and to make sure that our voters have time to sit at their tables, discuss these issues with their families and do their research,” said Lopez.
Lopez says 99% of Denverites who voted in the June primary used a mail ballot. Most of them, 80%, returned their ballots to a drop box but, he says, 1,400 ballots were mailed back after Election Day and didn’t count.
You don’t need first class postage to return your ballot, Lopez says, just don’t procrastinate, “It’s going to be 3-page ballot, so when you go through it, think it through and be able to turn it in and get it to us on time either through the mail or a drop box.”
The Election Division added 10 more drop boxes over the last year. It now has 38 throughout the city and will also have curbside service on Election Day for in-person voting, registration and replacement ballots.
Denver ballots go out Oct. 9 and should arrive in 2-3 days, giving voters about three weeks to get them back in.
Lopez says his office also has an outreach team that is working with homeless shelters, jails and nonprofits to make sure hard-to-reach voters also receive ballots.