COVID-19 Posing Challenges for Elections

The COVID-19 crisis has dominated the headlines and the airwaves for nearly two months. It has overshadowed the fact that this is an election year. With the virus expected to be around for a while, voting during the June 30 primary may present some new challenges since ballots cannot be cast virtually. Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico is a little concerned right now. She says, “Three of my vote centers on election day are at public libraries that are closed and the Community Center here in Glenwood is closed. So when we mail out people’s ballots for the primary we’re putting a little insert in there reminding them to check and make sure that those, in fact, are the vote centers that will be open for the primary.”

Alberico says if the libraries and the Community Center are unavailable for the primary, voters will still have a number of familiar locations. Where they can drop off their ballots on June 30th, “We have been using the town hall drop off sites since 2006 and we now have three 24/7 drop off boxes, one in Carbondale, one in Glenwood and one in Rifle that are under camera surveillance. By statute I’m required to have three vote centers; We use one at the Rifle office and one at the Glenwood office for early voting purposes and on election day I’m required to have one additional vote center but for years we have had five additional vote centers on election day just to make sure that we have a one in each one of the municipalities.”

This being a presidential election year, Alberico is expecting heavy voter turnout. She says hopefully every available election center will be open for the general election in November.