Elbert County: shopping while voting

Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder has a ballot-drop box located inside the Walmart in Elizabeth. (SOS photo)
Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder has a ballot-drop box located inside the Walmart in Elizabeth. (SOS photo)

Twin airbed mattresses are on sale for $7.97 at the Walmart in Elizabeth and as an added bonus, Elbert County shoppers can drop off their ballots for Tuesday’s primary election.

The local Walmart and the Elbert County clerk have teamed up to make it easier for citizens to vote. So far, no one’s voted ’til they’ve dropped but the concept has proved pretty pretty popular.

“We love it,” said Mark Hernandez, the assistant store manager. “It makes us more of a community store. ”

Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder and his elections director Rhonda Braun said voters enjoy the convenience.

“About 22 percent of our ballots come from the drop box,” Schroeder said. “Walmart has just been very good to work with.”

For this year’s primary election, counties mailed out ballots to Republican and Democratic voters. Some voters mail back their ballots — although it is too late to do that now — but others prefer to drop theirs off.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, and Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder watch election judge Shannon Mayer receive ballots. (Elbert County clerk photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, and Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder watch election judge Shannon Mayer, who is handling ballots. (Elbert County clerk photo)

Walmart is open on weekends and is open longer hours on weekdays than the county’s administration building, where voters can also drop off their ballots.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who visited Elbert County on Thursday, is a big fan of the set up.

“Walmart’s open longer hours. It already has security,” Williams said, noting county drop boxes require 24-hour surveillance. “It really is innovative.”

According to the latest returns compiled by the state’s elections office, 2,747 Elbert County voters have participated so far in Tuesday’s primary — either by mailing in a ballot, dropping one off or voting in person. That breaks down to 486 Democrats and 2,261 Republicans.