By the 2014 primary and general elections, more than 90 percent of El Paso County voters will have polling places and ballot drop-off locations within 10 minutes of their homes. Clerk & Recorder Wayne Williams discussed his office’s 2014 plans with the Board of County Commissioners Thursday. A doubling of polls and drop-off sites will make sure elections in Colorado’s most populous county go off without a hitch and, more importantly, in compliance with a state law passed in May of 2013. Colorado House Bill 13-1303 outlines its polling center and drop-off requirements based on population. According to Williams, the law requires El Paso County to have 23 polls for general elections, four for primaries and 11 24-hour ballot drop-off locations.
The county will carry 25 polling places for the November 2014 election “just in case concrete slabs come falling from the ceiling or something,” Williams said with a chuckle after his presentation. He wants to make sure that at least 23 polls will be operational during the last two days of the election, which were the busiest during the 2013 vote.
Williams said he was opposed to the law last year, adding that it would be more efficient to have fewer “super polling centers.” But the county clerk & recorder said the new requirements will allow the county to fill some holes and make it easier for everyone to vote. Williams said residents to the north and northeast like Black Forest and those in the southwestern areas near the Broadmoor sometimes have to drive more than 20 minutes to vote in person during general elections.
Commissioners Amy Lathen, Peggy Littleton and Darryl Glenn were present Thursday for the discussion at the regular BOCC meeting. Lathen and Littleton shared their comments, noting that cost is their main concern.