> Departments > Clerk & Recorder > Elections > Current Election

Mail Ballot


Step 1.   Ballot Printing/Assembly

  • Ballot packets are assembled about six weeks prior to Election Day at the printing vendor's location.
  • Ballot packets include: a ballot, a return envelope, and a secrecy sleeve with voter instructions


Step 2.   Ballots Packets are Mailed

  • Ballot packets are mailed to voters about three weeks prior to Election Day.
  • Ballot packets sent to military or overseas voters are sent forty-five days prior to Election Day to allow for a longer transit time.

Step 3.   Voter Completes and Returns Ballot

  • Voters have until Election Day to vote their ballot, seal it in the secrecy sleeve and envelope, read and sign the oath on the envelope and return it to Larimer County Elections.
  • Voted ballots must be received by the Larimer County Elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Night.
  • Ballots can be mailed (postage of 66 cents) or dropped off in person at any Voter Service and Polling Center or drop-off location on Election Day.

Step 4.   Signature Verification

  • Signatures on the returned envelopes are compared to signatures from the Voter Registration System. If the signatures match, the returned ballot packet is approved to move forward to removal.
  • Voters whose signatures do not match are contacted by mail with information to resolve the signature discrepancy. Voters can resolve the discrepancy within eight days after election day and their ballot will be counted.

(Trained bipartisan teams of election judges perform this step)


Step 5.   Removal

  • The ballot packets are opened and the contents removed following the steps outlined below.
    1. The secrecy sleeves, containing the voted ballots, are removed from the envelopes.
    2. The ballots are then removed from the secrecy sleeves.
    3. Ballots are flattened and ballot stubs are removed.

(Trained bipartisan teams of election judges perform this step.)


Step 6.   Counting

  • Ballots are counted using optical scan equipment.
  • Election judges process ballots up to fifteen days prior to Election Day.

(Trained bipartisan teams of election judges perform this step.)


Step 7.   Duplication

  • Ballots are sent to duplication due to physical damage that prevents them from being run through the optical scan equipment.
  • Trained election judges use the Voter Intent Manual created by the Secretary of State's Office to ensure consistency when duplicating ballots.

(Trained bipartisan teams of election judges perform this step)


Step 8.   Tabulation

  • Lastly, the voted ballots are tabulated.
  • The first unofficial results are posted to our website shortly after 7 p.m., and then additional results are posted throughout the evening.
  • Official results are determined after the Canvass Board meets and certifies the election results, which is approximately two weeks after the election.