News Release

Larimer County Clerk - Mail Ballot Postage Information

Department: Clerk & Recorder
Release Date: Oct 28, 2013

Contact:

Angela Myers, Larimer County Clerk & Recorder 970/498-7852
Elections Office: 970/498-7820

Mail Ballot Postage Decoded     

It happens every year…questions about the postage required on Mail Ballots. Clerk and Recorder, Angela Myers, wants to decode the mystery for all Larimer County voters.
 
“I agree! It seems so simple, right. Why not just be real clear on the return envelope about the postage needed for mailing back your voted ballots? Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple,” says Clerk Myers. “It makes all the sense in the world to put the amount of postage needed in that handy box where the stamp goes that currently reads, ‘Affix Adequate Postage Here’ and be done with it. The reason we can’t is two-fold and has everything to do with timing.”
 
The envelope used by voters to return their ballots is one of the few pieces of election mail that remains relatively static from year to year. It doesn’t typically change. “These envelopes are ordered in larger quantities, so we can take advantage of bulk pricing,” Myers says, “and we may use them for more than one election or the printer may be printing them well in advance of ballot certification.” 
 
Also, the U.S. Postal Service fees for First Class postage are not stagnant, and knowing what the rate will be at the time these ballots are being printed may be a challenge as well.
 
Myers takes the decoding a step further…
 
“Once we know what questions will be on the ballot and what size the ballot will be, we take it to the post office for weighing – which determines how much we will tell our voters to apply to the return envelope,” Myers says. 
 
The cost for return postage can be found on the secrecy sleeve, which IS updated specifically for each election. For this November’s election, the secrecy sleeve indicates that it will cost $0.66 to return your ballot via the USPS. 
 
“Unfortunately, what we’ve found is that postal scales within a post office, or from post office to post office, differ. No matter how often a scale is calibrated, there is a margin of accuracy. Double challenging is that these ballots are nearly always right at the tipping point, so if a scale differs even slightly from another scale, it will indicate that a different postage is needed,” Myers explained.
 
Ballots that are returned with only one stamp will make it to the Clerk & Recorder’s office, Myers says. “We partner with the USPS throughout the elections process. They are aware of this issue and your ballot will make it to us.”
 
Larimer County voters are encouraged to track the process of their ballot by going to www.votelarimer.org.
 
And, there is always the option of forgoing postage altogether and delivering your voted ballot to one of several drop-off sites. All drop-off sites are noted on the secrecy sleeve, which is included with your ballot packet. They can also be found at www.votelarimer.org.
 
All ballots must be RECEIVED (not simply post marked) by the Clerk and Recorders office no later than 7p on Election Day, November 5, 2013.
 
Any elector experiencing difficulty with the ballot and/or voting process should contact the Larimer County Clerk and Recorder’s office directly at 970/498-7820.
 
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