Two weeks before the presidential election, the first polling place ballots in Summit County will be cast today as election officials launch early voting with vote centers in Breckenridge and Frisco.
With public interest and, historically, voter participation at a peak during presidential election years, early voting and mail-in ballots offer alternatives for the public to the long lines and up to two-hour waits that can accumulate at the polls on Election Day.
Early voting locations will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekdays through Nov. 2 at the County Courthouse in Breckenridge and the Buffalo Mountain Room at the County Commons in Frisco.
Voters will be able to fill out and submit either paper or electronic ballots at the polling places. Election officials will also be accepting mail ballots at the early voting locations.
Polling places tend to become busier as Election Day nears, according to Summit County Clerk and Recorder Kathy Neel.
In 2008, 87 percent of Summit County's eligible voters turned out for the presidential election, and local election officials say they expect similarly high participation this year.
Voters also have the option of submitting ballots by mail. Mail ballots were sent out to eligible voters Oct. 15. Local election officials say voters who are expecting their ballot to arrive in the mail should contact the county clerk and recorder's office if they have not received it by Thursday.
Mail ballots can be returned via post or in person, but must be received by the clerk's office in Breck by no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 6.
Ballots cannot be mailed out after Oct. 30.
Voters can apply for a mail ballot online at www.govotecolorado.com.
Additional questions or concerns about voting procedures should be directed to the Summit County Clerk and Recorder's Office at (970) 453-3479.