If you want to vote next month on the races for president, congress, county commissioner, along with state and local questions, you need to register to vote before midnight tonight.
Local election officials, as well as the Secretary of State’s office and Democrats and Republicans, have been encouraging voters to register, or check their registration information online, in months-long get-out-the-vote campaigns.
In Pitkin County, where residents can easily check their registration status or sign up at www.pitkinvotes.org , voter registration is reaching new heights.
A total of 14,714 county residents were registered, according to the state’s most recent tally. That’s up from 13,309 registered Pitkin County residents on Election Day in 2008 and 13,200 in 2004.
A plurality of registered voters this year are unaffiliated — 6,611, but both major political parties also have seen gains in registration this year: 5,149 Democrats are registered, up from 4,898 in 2010; and 2,788 Republicans are registered in the county, up from 2,681 in 2010.
Both political parties have made pushes for new voters in recent days, setting up registration tables at the Aspen Saturday market and other high traffic areas like City Market.
Pitkin County Democratic Party chair Blanca O’Leary, Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland and other volunteers made the rounds door-to-door at the Castle Ridge apartments on Sunday night, hoping to catch voters who were at home watching football.
O’Leary said she’ll be outside of Aspen’s Federal Express store today, hoping to catch procrastinating locals who may be as likely to put off registering to vote as they are to delay mailing things.
“It’s been a big push of trying to get our last minute scoop-ups,” O’Leary said.
President Barack Obama won nearly 75 percent of the Pitkin County vote in 2008.
This year has seen more active Republican campaigning in the Aspen area than any time in recent memory, including door-to-door registrations, phone-banking and the establishment of a local Republican campaign office at the S-curves, where the GOP is holding a steady stream of public events, including barbecues every Tuesday.
“We didn’t do these sorts of things in 2008,” said county Republican Party chair Frieda Wallison. “I think we were less visible. But I certainly see this time around that there’s a huge amount of enthusiasm for Mitt Romney.”
Registration is likely being nudged up by the active partisan campaigns, along with high interest in the presidential race, hot-button local issues on expanding the county library and continuing the city’s hydro power project.
Registered voters should have received a voter identification card from the Pitkin County Elections Department in August, with current information on it. Voters can update address information up until the Oct. 30 online, and in person at the county clerk and recorder’s office until Election Day.
If you failed to vote in 2010, you are considered an “inactive” voter, which still allows you to vote in person, but means you will not receive a ballot in the mail if you are registered as a mail-in voter.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s office also put $850,000 into a registration campaign this summer and fall, including statewide advertising and a new app allowing voters to register on mobile devices. The app is believed to have malfunctioned for 10 days in September, so if you registered on your phone or tablet, it’s all the more important to double-check your registration before midnight tonight.