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KVNF Regional Newscast: June 25, 2024

VOTE sign at the Clerk & County Recorder's Office in Longmont, CO
Maeve Conran
VOTE sign at the Clerk & County Recorder's Office in Longmont, CO

It is primary election day in Colorado. State house and senate races as well as Congressional races are on the ballot. Local election officials are reminding unaffiliated voters who have received a Republican and a Democratic ballot that you can only submit one ballot.

Tressa Guynes, the Montrose Clerk and Recorder, says that if a voter returns two ballots, both ballots will be rejected.

“We've already had 63 voters this election vote both ballots and return them both and they both get rejected,” said Guynes.

If you have not yet returned your ballot, or if you need to register to vote or vote in person, you can do so until 7 p.m. this evening.

Guynes says there are several locations in Montrose where ballots can be dropped off or where people can vote in person.

“We have two 24-7 ballot drop boxes. One is at 317 South 2nd Street. That's our Montrose main office. And that's where we have our voter service polling center also. And then we have another 24-7 video surveillance dropbox in our Nucla Annex clerk office. Then we have another voter service polling center in Naturita, at the library,” she said.

Rene Warner, Chief Deputy and Elections Manager at the Delta County Clerk and Recorder's office, says there are six 24-hour ballot drop off boxes throughout Delta county as well as two voting centers where people can vote in person or register to vote, at the Delta Human Services building and at the North Fork Annex. Both locations are open on June 25th, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“At these voter service centers, you can register to vote, receive a replacement ballot, vote in person, drop off your ballot. We also have accessible voting machines for those that may need to hear their ballot or have larger print on the screen,” said Warner.

Montrose Clerk and Recorder Tressa Guynes told KVNF last week there has been unusually low voter turnout in Montrose for this election, but she hopes there is a last minute rush. She says one contributing factor could be misinformation about the electoral system.

“I think this is going on that the message is that there is mistrust in the election equipment and the machines' ability to interpret the voters' intent. And I think that might have the impact in low voter turnout. So, the messaging may be that your vote doesn't count, but it absolutely does count. So it's important that people do vote. The only way that their vote won't count is if they just choose not to vote,” said Guynes.

Guynes encourages voters to sign up for Ballotrax to track their ballot.

“I have a couple that is vacationing in New York at this time, and they received their ballot. They changed their mailing address just for this election, received their ballot in New York, voted it, and then mailed it back, and they were able to tell exactly where their ballot was, the day that we got it. Then the day that we received it and accepted it, and that was just a really good feeling for them to know and to be able to confirm that we did get it,” she said.

Rene Warner, Elections Manager in Delta County, encourages all eligible voters to participate in the primary election.

“I think that it is a very important civic duty. I feel that if everybody's voice is heard, the candidates that will go on to the general ballot would be positive. I feel that a few voters feel that maybe their vote isn't heard, but that is completely inaccurate,” she said.

“We receive and tabulate ballots of every eligible voter in Delta County, and it is just an important civic duty.”

Several races are on the ballot locally, including Colorado’s third congressional district

Adam Frisch is running unopposed as the Democratic Candidate in CD 3.

There are six Republican candidates vying for the party’s nomination for the seat currently held by Representative Lauren Boebert.

Boebert announced she was moving to another district earlier this year, Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, which covers the eastern part of the state.

Boebert is hoping to beat out several other Republicans in the Fourth District primary. The Fourth District is also holding a simultaneous special election to decide who takes over former Congressman Ken Buck’s seat for the rest of the legislative term.

In the Eighth District, the GOP primary will decide who runs against first-term Democratic Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo in November.

Supporters have raised enough money to move forward with a statewide study into systemic racial inequities in Colorado. The study came out of this year’s legislative session and was signed into law without any funding. The study’s backers had to raise about eight hundred thousand dollars to fund the first year of work. Now that the money is secured, History Colorado can convene a committee to oversee the study. The goal is to officially quantify and qualify the long-term economic impacts of slavery, racism and discrimination on Colorado’s Black community.

Much of Colorado was under a heat advisory Monday, which continues into today. Parts of the state, particularly along the Front Range are seeing temperatures in the triple digits.

Weather forecasters have said June will be warmer than average in Western Colorado.

Public health officials are asking folks to be aware of how the heat is impacting them, and take steps to stay safe.

Scott Bookman with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says in addition to heat stroke, heat can worsen pre-existing conditions.

He says people most at risk for heat-related illness are older adults, people with chronic illness, and infants… but there are lots of people who are at risk who may not know it.

“We gotta be careful of kids and their sporting events, and their parents kind of keeping an eye on that. So people who work outdoors, those who are young and healthy, if you’re working on a roof all day, you can wind up with heat stroke, and that can kill you,” he said.

He says people should look for signs of heat stroke and exhaustion, and dehydration.

That includes cramps, headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

For those with pets, officials recommend limiting exercise on hot days, keeping them hydrated, and giving them ice cubes or damp rags to stay cool.

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