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Primary ballots arrive in La Plata County mailboxes

County clerk says mail-in safest, easiest way to vote

Registered voters in La Plata County should have received mail-in ballots for the upcoming June 30 primary election.

Tiffany Parker, La Plata County Clerk & Recorder, said ballots were mailed Monday and need to be placed in one of several drop boxes around the county or mailed back no later than eight days before election day.

Given the current novel coronavirus pandemic, which has prompted public health orders for people not to gather in crowds, mail-in ballots are the safest and most convenient way to vote, Parker said.

Parker said the Clerk & Recorder’s Office recommends people place their ballot in a drop box rather than mail it.

“That would be ideal,” she said. “That way we know it’s here, it’s guaranteed to be in our possession and we don’t need another process where it’s sent to Albuquerque and back up to Durango.”

So far, the Clerk & Recorder’s Office has received about 1,200 ballots, and that number was expected to increase Friday as staff picked up ballots from drop boxes, Parker said.

Residents who are registered as unaffiliated will receive ballots for both Democratic and Republican primaries, but are permitted to send only one ballot back, otherwise, both ballots will be rendered void, Parker said.

People registered Democrat or Republican will receive just that party’s ballot.

For the Democratic primary, there are two contested races.

For U.S. Senate, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is running against Andrew Romanoff, a former member of the Colorado House of Representatives.

The winner will go against Sen. Cory Gardner in November.

For U.S. Congress, James Iacino, a Montrose resident who is CEO of Seattle Seafood Co., is running against Diane Mitsch Bush, a Steamboat Springs resident who served in the Colorado Legislature.

For the Republican party, there’s only one contested race for U.S. Congress, in which current Rep. Scott Tipton is being challenged by Lauren Boebert, a restaurant owner in Rifle.

Parker said 15,253 ballots were sent to people registered as unaffiliated, 11,690 to Democrats and 10,180 to Republicans. About 400 primary ballots were sent to people registered as Libertarian.

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