By the time you read this, if you're considered an active voter in Colorado Springs, you should have received your mail ballot for the 2009 municipal election.
Each ballot includes a City Council district position plus four city-wide initiatives. Almost 190,000 ballots were mailed Tuesday to residents who voted in the November 2008 general election or have registered to vote since then.
Remember, this is mail-ballot only, with no polling-place voting on the "election day" of April 7. You must return your ballot with a first-class stamp (more if your paperwork requests you provide a copy of personal identification), and soon enough to be received by April 7.
If you don't want to mail your ballot, you can drop it off at five locations, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. from March 23 through April 6, and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day. The locations: City Clerk's Office, 30 S. Nevada Ave., #101; Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center, 3920 Dublin Blvd.; Colorado Springs Senior Center, 1514 N. Hancock Ave.; Fire Station No. 17, 3750 Tutt Blvd.; Fire Station No. 9, 622 Garden of the Gods Road.
If you do not receive a ballot by March 20, call the city clerk at 385-5901. If you're registered and simply "inactive," you must update your status and address with the El Paso County Clerk's Office, either at Centennial Hall (200 S. Cascade Ave.) or Chapel Hills Mall (1710 Briargate Blvd.). Then you can pick up a ballot at the City Clerk's Office.
Council incumbents Scott Hente (District 1) and Darryl Glenn (District 2) are running unopposed. Incumbent Jerry Heimlicher faces a challenge from Dave Gardner in District 3. Bernie Herpin and Tony Carpenter are competing to fill term-limited Margaret Radford's District 4 seat.
Voters also will decide whether Colorado Springs should: continue an expiring mill levy, using the money for job creation and retention; keep tax money collected over the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights cap; direct more funding from Trails, Open Space and Parks to maintaining city parks; and allow city enterprises to accept federal grants without being penalized by TABOR.
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