As we enter the 2012 Election season, I would like to remind residents of La Plata County how important it is to keep your voter registration information current. If you have moved or changed your address, we need to know. It is as simple as stopping by our office, the courthouse or online at www.govotecolorado.com to update your registration. If you are new to our area or have never registered before, I encourage you to do so now. Ballots cannot be forwarded.
The County Clerk’s office is made up of three departments. The election, motor vehicle and recording departments have three completely different data bases. Address information is not shared among the different departments. Please keep this in mind as you update your information.
The Primary Election on June 26 will be conducted by mail. You must be affiliated in order to vote in a Primary. The General Election on Nov. 6 will be conducted as a polling place election. If you want to receive your ballot in the mail, you may request to do so online or at our office. You do not need to sign up again to receive a mail-in ballot if you have already done so. To verify your registration information, you may do so online at www.govotecolorado.com or call our office at 382-6296.
This last Nov. 1, the election became a little controversial regarding voters who were on inactive status because they had failed to vote in a general election. If a voter does not cast a ballot in a general election, we must place them on inactive-fail to vote status and send a notification card. Voters can simply call our office, update their information online or fill out the card and return it to us to reactivate. Again, 90 days before this last election, we sent another notification. That means we have sent a minimum of two notifications to the elector. If there is still no response, they remain on inactive status.
In 2008, the General Assembly enacted House Bill 1329, which required clerks to send mail ballots to people who were inactive and failed to vote as well as to active voters. However, the authority to send mail ballots to voters who were inactive-fail to vote expired on July 1, 2011.
After many discussions and a legal interpretations made by the secretary of state with the assistance of the attorney general, I made the decision not to send a ballot to the inactive-fail to vote electors. Along with 54 other clerks, we based our decision on the law and not partisanship. I truly want every eligible elector in La Plata County to vote. The elector, however, must have the desire to participate in the election as well.
The law is different for a primary election. All affiliated active and inactive-fail to vote electors will receive a mail-in ballot for the primary. We currently have more than 6,000 electors on inactive-fail to vote status.
Our department is here to provide as much assistance as we can. There are times the laws may not make sense and seem very frustrating; please contact our department directly so we can explain why certain decisions are made. I promise you, I will do everything I can to ensure all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast a ballot.
Tiffany L. Parker is the La Plata County clerk and recorder. Reach her at 382-6296.