COLORADO — Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold today announced that Colorado will have 368 ballot drop boxes available to voters statewide for the Nov. 3 election, a significant increase from 2018, when 247 drop boxes were available statewide.
“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,” said Secretary Griswold.
“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.”
Under Secretary Griswold’s leadership, the number of drop boxes has increased 49 percent in just the last two years, including the addition of 42 new boxes this summer as part of CARES Act funding for election assistance.
Twenty-seven Colorado counties applied this summer for the additional drop boxes, which will be in place for the Nov. 3 election. Nearly $160,000 has been requested and will be provided to those counties from CARES Act funding to provide the new boxes. As counties continue to finalize their election plans, as many as 20 additional boxes may be added across the state by Election Day.
“Saguache County is one of the largest counties in Colorado, with a scarce population in comparison,” said Saguache County Clerk and Recorder Trish Gilbert, whose county will be adding three new boxes for a total of four.
“Many of our towns are located a great distance from our Voter Service and Polling Center, and many of our voters are without reliable transportation. Additional drop boxes will provide a safe and efficient method for voters to return their ballots without needing to travel to our VSPC and putting themselves, and others, at risk.”
Approximately 75 percent of Colorado mail ballot voters return their ballots to a drop box, which are safe and secure. 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 368 drop boxes statewide, there is now one drop box for approximately every 9,400 Colorado active registered voters. In addition to drop boxes, Colorado will have approximately 330 voting centers open, with many opening 15 days before Election Day per Colorado state law. Each voting center will have COVID-19 related procedures in place to ensure in-person voting is as safe as possible.