Last-minute tips about voting in Tuesday's election

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (The Gazette) - With the final countdown to Election Day beginning and a ballot so long it covers two sheets, local residents who haven’t yet voted have their work cut out for them.

Ballots must be received by the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office by 7 p.m. Tuesday. Here’s what voters need to know in the eleventh hour:

How do I turn in my ballot on Election Day?

There are more than a dozen drop boxes across the county that are open 24 hours a day until the polls close.

Voters can also turn in their ballots at one of the county’s 28 Voter Service and Polling Center locations, which are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Polling center locations include The Citadel and Chapel Hills malls, several local libraries and Department of Motor Vehicle offices, the Falcon Fire Protection District, the Fountain Police Department, Monument Town Hall and Manitou Springs City Hall.

For a full list of ballot drop box locations and voter service and polling centers, visit epcvotes.com.

Do not mail your ballot this close to Election Day, the Clerk and Recorders’ Office says. It’s very unlikely that the ballot would be received by the Tuesday deadline. Ballots that are postmarked but not delivered to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office by the deadline are not counted.

I didn’t get a ballot/need a replacement. What can I do?

Replacement ballots are available at the polling centers. At the centers, residents can also use a ballot-marking machine that’s accessible to people with disabilities.

Can I still register to vote?

Residents can register to vote and vote in person at polling center locations until polls close.

Will I have to wait in line at the polling centers?

The Clerk and Recorder’s Office has warned that wait times at the centers can be lengthy on Election Day for those trying to get a replacement ballot or register to vote.

However, anyone who is just dropping off a ballot likely won’t have to wait in line.

How do I know if my ballot has been received?

Voters can confirm that their ballot has been received by the Clerk and Recorder’s Office at govotecolorado.com. Ballot status can be accessed by clicking Find my registration and entering the voter’s name, ZIP code and birthday.

Where can I learn more about the ballot questions?

The state Blue Book and the county TABOR notice are great places to start.

The Blue Book, prepared by the Legislative Council staff, contains detailed information about each of the 13 statewide ballot measure, such as anticipated impacts and arguments for and against.

The county’s TABOR notice, statutorily required by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, contains information about the financial consequences of many of the local measures as well as comments from supporters and opponents of those measures.

Links to both documents are posted online at epcvotes.com. Paper copies of the booklets are also available at polling centers.

Do I have to vote every item?

No, but the Clerk and Recorder’s Office asks that voters return both sheets of the ballot, even if they are not filled out entirely.

When will election results be available?

The first round of unofficial results, which will reflect ballots counted through Monday, will be released about 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday. About 15 minutes later, those numbers will be updated to reflect votes counted through most of Election Day.

Tabulations will be updated again about 8:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., according to a news release from the Clerk and Recorder.

The results can be accessed from the Secretary of State’s Office’s website.

Who can I ask if I have last-minute questions about voting?

Answers to your questions may be available at the county or state election websites, epcvotes.com and govotecolorado.com.

You can also contact the county’s elections department by calling (719)-575-8683 or emailing elections@elpasoco.com.