Pitkin County beefs up security for midterm elections

Pitkin County beefs up security for midterm elections

Midterm Election 2022 in the US of America
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Day by day safety on the early voting middle and police escorts for election judges are among the many steps Pitkin County is taking to bolster safety earlier than and on Election Day.

By 2 p.m. Friday, the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder’s Workplace had processed about 2,000 of the two,080 mail-in ballots it had acquired by the Nov. 8 midterm. About 45 folks had voted in particular person, in keeping with Clerk Ingrid Grueter, noting that there are about 14,000 lively registered voters in Pitkin County.

The county has about 50 election judges lined as much as work on Election Day, she mentioned. These paid judges have to be not less than 18 years previous, be registered to vote, not have dedicated electoral fraud or offenses and haven’t any rapid household within the operating, amongst different standards. Their duties embrace welcoming and registering voters, validating voter signatures, processing and counting ballots, and different areas to help the Pitkin County Division of Elections, which is a division from the workplace of the clerk and recorder.

Outcomes of a Reuters/Ipsos ballot launched final week discovered that two in 5 American voters fear about violence or intimidation of voters and polling locations, and an additional two-thirds fear that extremists will retaliate if the election outcomes don’t materialize. their favor.

The Pitkin County Division of Elections responded to the issues by having safety personnel work inside its in-person polling place each day. On the finish of Election Day, election judges will obtain police escorts to their parked automobiles, Grueter mentioned.

“Our election judges are just a little extra nervous than they’ve been up to now,” she mentioned, “so we employed non-public safety guards (to work day by day) and individuals who find yourself By staying right here late on election night time, the Aspen police will escort them to their vehicles.

The added safety is a primary, she mentioned.

“We have by no means finished that earlier than,” she mentioned. “We simply noticed the nervousness with the election judges.”

About 16 ballot watchers, individuals who observe the vote tabulation course of and report any irregularities they could witness, will work in Pitkin County on Election Day, Grueter mentioned, noting the potential for infiltration by watchers polling was not a neighborhood concern.

She mentioned there have been additionally no cases of voter intimidation or threats, however “we had some attention-grabbing telephone calls that have been extra election-denying kind telephone calls that we tried to teach nicely”.

In July, Pitkin County commissioners handed an ordinance that briefly bans hid handguns inside 100 ft of polling locations, together with the Pitkin County administration and sheriff’s workplace constructing. The order said that the board “believes that the conduct of truthful and open elections ought to be free from any risk or intimidation of the voters” and that the “BOCC intends to guard its employees, its volunteers and the group, and the BOCC intends to keep up services which are secure and free from violence.

First-time offenders face a $50 tremendous and as much as $1,000 for subsequent violations. Violators who refuse to depart the premises danger a jail time period of as much as six months, in keeping with the order.

Ballots have been mailed out Oct. 17 and early voting started Oct. 24 on the Pitkin County Administration and Sheriff’s Workplace constructing on East Fundamental Road in Aspen, which additionally serves as a middle county voting till Saturday. The Jewish Neighborhood Middle in Aspen on the West Fundamental will function a polling place on Nov. 7 and eight “to account for greater turnout.” according to the Pitkin County Elections website.

Voters can vote in particular person from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday by means of Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on the Pitkin County Constructing.

In-person voting may also happen from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on November 7 and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on November 8 on the Aspen Jewish Neighborhood Middle. Registered Pitkin County voters may also vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 8 on the Basalt Regional Library at 14 Midland Ave. and on the Snowmass Village City Corridor at 130 Kearns Highway.

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