With the Aug. 26 deadline for special district filings past, initiatives and candidates are set for the upcoming November election. In addition to the races for the U.S. Senate and Congress that are garnering a lot of attention, there are plenty of issues in this fall's election to fuel debates in Elbert County well past Nov. 4.
“Things are moving ahead,” Dallas Schroeder, Elbert County clerk and recorder, reported to the Board of County Commissioners Aug. 27. “We're looking forward to a good election.”
There are four statewide initiatives. Coloradans will settle on whether or not producers must identify “genetically modified” food or food “produced with genetic engineering” on packaging. Voters also will decide whether the state must define an “unborn human being” as a “person or a child” under the Colorado Criminal Code and the Wrongful Death Act.
Voters must also determine if “local public bodies” must open “negotiations relating to collective bargaining” and “employment contracts” to the public, and choose whether they want to establish a “K-12 Education Fund” underwritten by “horse track limited gaming.”
If the state issues are not enough to tickle ideologies, there are plenty of issues around the county to debate as well. District II voters need to replace outgoing County Commissioner Kurt Schlegel, and Kiowa residents must choose between three candidates for mayor.
In local issues affecting wallets and purses, the Peyton School District is proposing a TABOR Notice issue, and the Elizabeth School District has filed to offer either a bond issue, a mill levy increase, or perhaps both. Specific measures have yet to be determined.
Elbert County voters will have multiple choices for casting their votes. Election Day polling will take place at the Elbert County Courthouse, the Spring Valley Golf Club, and the Elizabeth Public Library beginning at 7 am. Polls close at all locations at 7 pm.
Mail-in ballots will be sent out the week of Oct. 13 and must be returned, not postmarked, by 7 pm on Nov. 4. Residents can drop off mail-in ballots at the Elbert County Courthouse beginning Oct. 20 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. through noon on Saturdays. The times coincide with early voting at the courthouse through Nov. 3. Ballots may also be dropped off at all three polling stations on Election Day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
In addition, the Walmart in Elizabeth will have a 24-hour ballot drop box located next to the customer-service counter beginning Oct. 27 through 7 p.m. on Election Day.
“I'm not familiar with anyone else in the state that is doing that, so maybe we are trend-setters here,” Schroeder joked at the BOCC meeting. “Walmart is open 24 hours a day, and it makes sense that we can have that box there 24 hours a day as well.”
According to Schroeder, the Walmart drop box will also save the county money. “Before, we've had to have an election judge sit with that red box,” he said. “We won't have to do that anymore, because it's in a secure location and a secure box.”