Mistake has mail-in ballots missing in Silverton

Clerk: ‘I do not yet have an explanation as to why’

Mailing errors last week resulted in more than 100 ballots for Silverton’s April 3 town election being listed as “missing or mailed to an incorrect address,” said Town Clerk Brian Carlson. That represents about 18 percent of the 586 ballots mailed out to registered voters.

But Carlson said the issue was “easily resolved” with a second mailing on Tuesday.

Carlson said it came to his attention last Friday that “numerous voters had not received their mailed ballots.”

He said the lost ballots fell into two categories: Those with last names beginning with A through Da, and all permanent mail-in voters.

It added up to a total of 107 ballots missing or mailed to the wrong address.

Since then, Carlson said 27 voters have picked up replacement ballots at Town Hall and four made resend requests by phone. Carlson said he mailed out another 76 ballots Tuesday.

“All ballots are numbered, and a signature is required on the ballot-return envelope,” Carlson said. “Ballots associated with last names A through Da are simply missing, and I do not yet have an explanation as to why.”

As for the permanent mail-in voters, Carlson said that apparently address data on the mailing labels provided to the town by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office via the San Juan County Clerk was incorrect despite the fact that the correct addresses appear on the voter-registration list, also provided by the Colorado Secretary of State via the San Juan County Clerk.

“These ballots were thus returned as nondeliverable,” Carlson said.

Carlson said that fortunately the remailing on Tuesday should allow plenty of time for ballots to be returned by Election Day, April 3.

The Town Council approved a mail-in election this year in an effort to cut costs associated with staffing polls on Election Day.

Ten candidates are seeking three Town Council seats, and two candidates are running for mayor.

“If you are a registered Silverton elector and still have not received a ballot by the time this notice is published, please contact me directly at your earliest convenience,” Carlson said.

Carlson may be reached at 387-5522 ext. 12 or by email at bcarlson@silverton.co.us.