OC Ballot Drop Box

The new ballot drop box is available at the Orchard City Town Hall. It is located by the entrance that faces the highway and follows all surveillance and collection requirements.

Staff Report

In a notable increase of ballot drop box locations from 2018, the Town of Orchard City has installed a new box at the Orchard City Town Hall, according to Rene Loy Maas, chief deputy at the Delta County Clerk and Reporter’s Office. That address is 9661 2100 Road, Austin.

The new drop box is in plain sight at town hall, immediately outside the door facing the road.

“This drop box became available because of a grant from the Colorado Secretary of State through the [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)] funding,” Maas said in an email. “The Town of Orchard City was happy to help with the installation of the 24 Hour Ballot Box.”

In a state press release provided by Maas, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold noted that the number of ballot boxes for this year’s election is a “significant increase” over 2018. As ballots come out the week of Oct. 12, Colorado will have a total of 358 drop box locations compared to 2018’s 247 locations.

“I am happy to announce that over the last two years Colorado has added 121 new drop boxes across the state for the 2020 General Election,” Griswold said. “No American should have to choose between risking their health and exercising their right to vote. Drop boxes are a safe, secure, and convenient way for Colorado voters to make their voices heard while social distancing, and are one of the reasons our elections are the nation’s gold standard.”

As mentioned by Maas, Orchard City was one of many places to benefit from a new drop box thanks to CARES Act funding. As the CARES Act gives financial aid to COVID-19-related causes and since an increase in drop box locations creates a safer environment for the election, the cause was eligible for the funding.

As far as voter security is concerned, the state press release vouched for the system overall.

“Approximately 75% of Colorado mail ballot voters return their ballots to a drop box, which are safe and secure,” the press release stated. “Drop boxes are sturdy, metallic, weather-resistant, and are bolted to the ground. Colorado law also requires that all drop boxes be kept under 24-hour video surveillance with adequate lighting. When drop boxes are emptied, they are done so at least every 24 hours by a team of bipartisan election judges who must maintain a detailed chain of custody log when transporting ballots between drop boxes and the central counting facility.”

With the newly upped 368 drop boxes, the press release states that there is one drop box for every 9,400 Colorado registered voters.

With the new addition of the Orchard City drop box, Delta County will immediately see the option of five different drop box locations beginning on Oct. 12. The other locations are the Delta County Courthouse, the Cedaredge Public Library, the North Fork Annex in Hotchkiss and Paonia Town Hall.

Beginning on Oct. 26, there will be an additional drop box in the Town of Crawford at 425 Highway 92.

Select in-person voting will still be available as well. Residents of the county can vote at the Delta County Courthouse at some point from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday from Oct. 19-Nov. 2, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, or 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Nov. 3, Election Day.

Residents can vote in person at the North Fork Annex from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30 or Monday, Nov. 2. Or they can vote in person 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Nov. 3, Election Day.

Finally residents can vote at the Orchard City Town Hall on Nov. 3, Election Day only from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

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