The 2018 Colorado primary election is June 26 and here is a look at what you need to know about the primary election in Mesa County.

The primary election is important because it determines which candidates will be on the ballot in November.The process can be a little confusing, however, and so here is some information that will be helpful to Mesa County voters.

Ballots have already been mailed to registered Mesa County Voters. Two ballots were included in each voter packet, one Republican and one Democrat, but you can only mark and return one of the ballots. If you send in both ballots it will disqualify all your votes. Unaffiliated voters can turn in a ballot from either party, however, that does not automatically affiliate you with that party.

A number of 24-hour ballot drop boxes are available now through June 26 and can be found at the following locations:

*Department of Human Services, 510 29 1/2 Road
*Mesa County Central Services, 200 S. Spruce St.
*Fruita Civic Center, 325 E. Aspen, Fruita
*Peachtree Shopping Center, 3225 I-70 Business Loop, Clifton
*GVT West Transfer Facility, 612 24 1/2 Road

In- person voting is available June 18-June 26 from 8am until 5pm at Mesa County Central Services, 200 S. Spruce Street. Election day voting will run from 7am until 7pm. All ballots must be received by the Clerk and Recorder's office by 7pm on June 26.

When you put your ballot in the yellow envelope provided, be sure to include your signature on the line indicated on the envelope with your name on it. Otherwise, you ballot will not be valid. You need to do this regardless of whether you are mailing your ballot in, or dropping it off in person.

In the voter packet, there is a "secrecy sleeve". After completing your ballot, put it in the secrecy sleeve, and slip it into the official return envelope.

If you need a replacement ballot, call 970-244-1662.

There are four contested races on the Democratic ballot.

U.S. Representative District 3: Diane Mitsch Bush, Karl Hanlon, Arn Menconi
Governor: Cary Kennedy, Jared Polis, Donna Lynne, Mike Johnston
State Treasurer: Dave Young, Bernard Douthit
Attorney General: Phil Weiser, Joe Salazar

On the Republican side there are five contested races in Mesa County.

Governor: Walker Stapleton, Greg Lopez, Doug Robinson, Victor Mitchell
State Treasurer: Justin Everett, Polly Lawrence, Brian Watson
State Senator District 7: Ray Scott, Dan Thurlow
County Clerk & Recorder: Bobbie Gross, Tina Peters
County Sheriff: Matt Lewis, Bob Dalley

The last thing you need to know is that you need to vote. It can be difficult to generate a lot of enthusiasm and participation in a primary election, particularly when there are few locally contested races. However, it remains just as important that each of us as Colorado and Mesa County residents express our will and desire through the voting process.

That voting process has certainly evolved over the years, and they couldn't make it any easier or more convenient for people to vote. It will probably take less than two minutes of your time to mark your ballot, so find two minutes in your day and cast your vote.

[MESA COUNTY CLERK]