Mesa County election system prevents double voting

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) -- Voting is officially underway in Mesa County.

Election officials said voters can still vote in-person at walk-in locations, even if you received a mail ballot.

Sheila Reiner, the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder, said your vote will not be counted twice.

"I feel very confident that when we count a vote, we're counting one per voter registration, and we're counting the one that is applicable to where they live at this current time," said Reiner.

Reiner said Colorado has state-of-the-art software that makes sure two ballots cannot be cast for the same person.

"Each one of the ballots issued has a unique tracking ID assigned to them, so we do know if It's valid or if it's voided and we also know if they've attempted to vote in another way prior to the time that they show up," said Reiner.

More than 85,000 mail ballots were sent out in Mesa County, some arriving in mailboxes as early as Tuesday.

"I got my ballot in the mail last night and a lot of mail gets lost and I didn't want to mess with it, so I just filled it out, brought it down, and got it over with," said Bill Rockwood.

Reiner said the system tracks ballots quickly, preventing double voting.

"If someone goes in-person to vote, our software will already have it flagged,” said Reiner. “If we've seen their mail ballot returned, they're not going to be allowed to vote a regular in-person ballot, but rather be issued a provisional ballot that'll be verified at a later time."

Reiner said the last case of a fraudulent voting in Mesa County was over a decade ago.

"I think you'd get caught, they'll catch you with your address and your name," said Rockwood.

Reiner said sometimes a person will unintentionally try and vote twice, as some campaign systems are not up to date and will tell a voter their ballot is not in yet.

"The election judge is going to look up your record, and it's going to show you have not returned your mail ballot yet," said Reiner.

It’s a process our local offices take seriously, so serious that law enforcement could get involved.

"If we find a problem and if we believe there is some malicious attempt in attempting to vote twice, those get sent over to the DA office for investigation," said Reiner.

Those looking to mail in a ballot are encouraged to do so by the end of October to ensure their vote is counted. If you're coming to an in-person polling place you have until Election Day.

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