October 27 2004, 6:15 AM
Compared to the local media's breathless stories on voter-registration fraud, this hasn't gotten much attention -- but the Jefferson County Democrats report that absentee voters have been getting calls saying that the deadline to send in absentee ballots has passed, and that if they have not yet turned in their absentee ballots they should destroy them. This is similar to a dirty trick that is currently being attempted in Florida. What these callers are saying is not true. You can deliver your absentee ballots to an early voting location (which are open through Friday), you can still mail them in (I hear extra postage is a good idea, at least 60 cents) or you can deliver them to a county election office up to 7:00 p.m. on November 2. This dirty trick dovetails perfectly with Donetta Davidson's determination that provisional ballots will only be counted in the presidential election. Prime suspects would include people who are supporting candidates in hotly contested down-ballot races (such as a certain local manufacturer of brewed beverages), because someone who is tricked into destroying their absentee ballot can still cast a provisional ballot (something Davidson wanted to disallow) but only in the presidential race. If anyone calls you and suggests you should destroy your absentee ballot, try to get identifying information and get in touch with the Jefferson County Democrats and/or your local DA, or county party if you don't live in Jeffco. Because lying to people to get them not to vote is a crime.