Just a few days remain for area voters to return their mail-in ballots for the 2012 primary election.
Primary election day is Tuesday, June 26, and though this years primary election is being conducted solely through mail-in ballot, voters still have to be sure their voice is heard and their vote is counted.
We will take ballots until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, said Montezuma County Clerk Carol Tullis. People still have time to vote.
Tullis urges voters who have not received mail-in ballots to contact the clerks office as there may be a simple reason the ballot wasnt mailed.
There could be something wrong that resulted in a ballot not going out, Tullis said. If a ballot has come back to us in the past or there is an error in their voter information, they may not have received a ballot. They need to check with us.
Colorados closed primary system requires party registration in order to cast a ballot in a primary election, but unaffiliated voters have until the 7 p.m. deadline on primary day to declare a party and receive a ballot, Tullis said.
In the local area, only the Republican and Libertarian parties have contested races on the ballot for this election cycle. Though registered members of the Democratic Party and American Constitution Party will receive ballots, there are no contested races.
The 34 Libertarian voters in Montezuma County will have a choice between Gaylon Kent and Gregory Gilman to represent the party in the race for the 3rd Congressional District seat currently held by Republican Scott Tipton.
For GOP voters, three local races have dominated the primary, two contests for seats on the Montezuma County Board of Commissioners and the race for 22nd Judicial District attorney.
In the District 2 race for county commissioner, Keenan Ertel, Pat DeGagne-Rule and Bud Garner are competing for the seat being vacated by Commissioner Larrie Rule. Rule is leaving the board due to term limits.
No Democratic or unaffiliated candidate has filed paperwork to run for the District 2 seat, indicating the winner of the Republican primary will most likely fill the seat after the general election in November.
In the District 3 race for county commissioner, Dewayne Findley and Casey McClellan are competing to be the Republican candidate facing unaffiliated candidates Larry Don Suckla and Greg Kemp in the general election. The District 3 seat is being vacated by term-limited Commissioner Gerald Koppenhafer.
The 22nd Judicial District attorneys race features incumbent DA Russell Wasley and local defense attorney Will Furse. No challenger has declared an intent to run against the winner of the primary in the general election.
Tullis said ballot return rates are steady and she is hopeful the county will see a better than 50 percent turnout for the election.
Im really looking for a little over 50 percent turnout, she said. I kind of predicted 52 percent, so we will see how close I am. The returns have been good. Theres been a lot of interest in this election and Im pleased with the turnout so far.
As of Friday morning, nearly 3,500 out of 10,200 ballots have been returned to the clerks office, a return rate of just over 34 percent.
Ballots may be returned by mail or dropped off in a ballot box at the clerks office, 140 W. Main St. All ballots must be in the clerks office by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26.
For more information, contact the county elections department at 565-3728.