COLORADO SPRINGS — El Paso County’s first solar-powered ballot drop box is now open for voters in the city’s south-central area. 

“This is a prime location to serve our voters in the Southgate area,” said El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. “It also reflects our office’s commitment to innovative technology by providing a solar-powered ballot box. Most importantly, we now offer a total of 37 locations to ensure voters can safely and easily return their ballots and exercise their democratic right to vote unencumbered.”

The 24/7 secure drop box is located at Broadmoor Towne Center at Southgate, in the westside parking area. It brings the total ballot drop-off locations to 37.

“This is a labor of love that took a lot of research, development, and time to find a location to be able to do that, and this is our first dropbox that is solar-powered,” said Broerman. “The drop box isn’t solar-powered, but the camera and the lighting system is.”    

What’s unique about this one, in particular, is it has a solar panel. The solar panel was necessary in order to power the lights keeping it safe for people after hours when it gets dark. It’s also essential for the Clerk’s Office because it powers a security camera, ensuring secure operations at the drop box.

Local utilities were unable able to run power out to this location so they had to use the solar option.

Stan VanderWerf the El Paso County Commissioner said at the ribbon cutting on Thursday, “You have the solar device on the top to provide electricity. There’s a camera there to ensure security, that’s not only to ensure the security of the ballot itself but also to ensure the security of people that come here and drop their ballot off so that they feel they have a safe place to do it. When you add all that together these boxes are pretty expensive.”

As of Thursday morning, there have been 299,518 ballots returned in Colorado, according to Magellan Strategies Ballot Return Report. Saying this appears to be the beginning stage of what’s expected to be a very incredibly high turnout for the November 3rd election.

An interactive map for voters to find their nearest location is available here, along with tracking your mail-in ballot status and any other important election information.