You already mailed your ballot in Colorado. Can you get a do-over?

3 min. read
Envelopes ready to be open. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)

There are two reasons you might be asking this question. The first is that new information has come to light that has you reconsidering your choices. The second is that you heard Donald Trump suggest in Greeley on Sunday that your mail ballot won't be counted and you should vote again in person even if you already sent in a ballot.

So, if you already voted by mail, can you get your ballot back from the pile and vote again?

The short answer is no.

There is an exception, if you act very quickly.

Lynn Bartels, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State, said that if you mailed your ballot the day before, there's a chance that it hasn't arrived and been checked in at your county elections division. You could vote at a voter service center, and when your mail ballot shows up, it would be invalidated because records would show you already voted.

It would look in the record like you tried to vote twice, and you might have to explain yourself.

But if your ballot has been checked in, it's been separated from the envelope that has your voter information, and it can't be retrieved. Once it's out of the envelope, there isn't a way to tie it back to you. That's how your vote stays anonymous.

Second thoughts are one thing. But Bartels is adamant there is no need to vote in person if you've already voted by mail.

"The idea that they might not count your ballot is insane," she said. "Your ballot is not getting tossed out. Your ballot is being examined by a bipartisan team of judges who don't know how you voted. Nobody is writing on the envelope, 'This is a Trump vote' or 'This is a Hillary vote.'"

The hints and suggestions of vote rigging are extremely frustrating to elections workers. There are isolated cases of voter fraud, Bartels said, but there is no evidence of coordinated efforts to throw an election one way or the other at any point in the recent past. And it would be very difficult to pull off, as it would require convincing bipartisan teams in multiple counties to go along with your effort.

"We have the exact same system in place that we had in 2014 when we had all these Republican victories," Bartels said. "Did (Sen.) Cory Gardner not really win? Did (attorney general) Cynthia Coffman not really win?"

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