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Denver Voters Choose Drop Boxes Over Postal Service to Return Mail Ballots

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Colorado House Bill 13-1303, signed in 2013, required counties to send mail ballots to all active registered voters, replaced traditional polling places with voter service and polling centers (where voters may register and cast a ballot on the same day), and mandated that some counties—including Denver—have 24-hour ballot drop boxes.

Early voting began at voter service and polling centers in Denver County on Oct. 21, the same day that most mail ballots were sent out in the county.

Data from the November 2013 election show that Denver issued 364,318 mail ballots and that a majority of returned ballots were dropped at a voter service and polling center or a ballot drop box, rather than through the Postal Service. The data also show:

  • 38 percent of mail ballots were returned, verified, and counted; 0.7 percent were returned but rejected.
  • 64 percent of returned mail ballots were dropped off at a voter service and polling center or drop box. 
  • 34 percent of returned mail ballots were received on the Election Day (Nov. 5) deadline. Of these, 78 percent were dropped off rather than mailed back. 

Only 2,531 Denver County voters chose to vote in person, and 74 percent of them voted on Election Day.

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