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Park County: Colorado's voting desert

Colorado has hundreds of ballot drop boxes and places to vote in-person, but residents in Park County have to look further than others.

DENVER — Colorado has more than 370 ballot drop boxes and about 350 places to vote in-person. Sounds like the state is covered.

Yet, Colorado still has voting deserts, areas where voting in-person or dropping off your ballot isn't possible.

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"It’s just, kind of, a pain to have to drive almost an hour-and-a-half to get to where I can either vote or drop, unless I do mail," said Park County voter Merry Roloff.

Roloff just moved to Lake George.

"There’s not a lot in Lake George, you could pretty much drive through it and not know you’ve been there," said Roloff.

She used to live in Centennial, in the Denver metro area.

"There were drop boxes all over the place," said Roloff.

Where she used to live near Parker and Chambers roads had three drop boxes within 10 minutes.

Now, the closest one to her Lake George home is in Fairplay, more than 45 miles away.

"I generally prefer dropbox," said Roloff. "The mail, kind of, scares me right now, and I would really like to put it in a dropbox."

Park County's clerk and recorder isn't doing anything wrong.

In fact, Park County has gone above and beyond what state law requires.

Based on the election plan that Park County submitted to the Secretary of State's Office in July, the clerk reported 13,343 active voters.

State law only requires at least one dropbox for counties with 15,000 or fewer active voters.

Park County has three.

Park County Clerk and Recorder Debra Green said that, as of Wednesday, there are 614 voters in Lake George and the Park County section of Florissant.

Green pointed out that voters who live in the southern part of the county already have to go to Fairplay to handle motor vehicle transactions, obtain birth or death certificates and get marriage licenses. She said that if there's a safe and secure solution, and there's a dropbox available next year, she would consider putting one in the south part of the county.

As part of federal CARES Act funding, the Secretary of State offered 100 drop boxes to counties that requested them. The cost to the county would be the 24-hour security required to monitor the drop boxes when they're open.

Only 42 of the 100 were requested.

RELATED: Next Question: How do Colorado’s ballot drop boxes work? We explain.

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