Saturday, October 17, 2020

Colorado Voter Turnout 24 Times 2016

As with voters across the U.S., Colorado voters seem to have decided how they will mark their ballot, and they are motivated to get the job done. During the first week of early voting more than 576,705 ballots we’re cast (mostly by return mail and drop boxes)  through Friday, October 16th, according to data report by the Secretary of State’s office. For the 2016 election, Colorado voters had cast only 42,416 ballots by the 18th day before the November 8th election day that year.

Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold reported that the number of ballots cast, so far, has outstripped the same point during the 2016 presidential election by a factor of 24.

Democrats have been quick to submit their ballots. More than 254,072 (20.9) of the state's 1,215,517 registered Democrats have already committed their vote for president, down ballot candidates and ballot propositions.


Total Voted

Registered Voters

Turnout Rate





















While Democrats topped Republicans in the number of mail-in ballots cast by this point in 2016, the split was far closer with 18,919 Democratic ballots returned, and 12,611 Republican ballots received by this time in the last presidential cycle.

Pueblo County voters had cast 10,366 ballots, almost 10 percent of the county's 108,000 registered voters, during the first four days of early voting. Pueblo Democrats have submitted 5,510 ballots so far while Republican voters have turned in 2,069 ballots. Unaffiliated voters have cast 2,640 ballots as of Friday. 

Front range Pueblo County voters are widely considered to be the key “swing” decision makers for who wins Colorado's 3rd congressional district - moderate Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush or ultra-right QAnon Republican Lauren Boebert.

On the other side of the state from Pueblo County, on the western slope section of Colorado's 3rd congressional district, Rural Mesa County is one of the state’s remaining red counties. In addition to Democratic 3rd congressional district candidate Diane Mitsch Bush, a slate of other well qualified Democrats on Mesa County ballots are campaigning hard to motivate Democrats and Unaffiliateds - and even moderate Republicans who don’t like Trump, Boebert, or incumbent Republican Senator Cory Gardner - to turn out the vote for Democrats this year. 

Through Friday, 17,277 ballots have cast in Mesa County by 5,978 Republicans, 5,176 Democrats, and 5,920 Unaffiliateds. The median age of the 17,277 voters who have cast a ballot is 65 years.

Colorado has used universal mail-in voting since 2013, meaning the recent surge is not a result of increased requests by Coloradans for mail-in ballots, due to the coronavirus pandemic as all registered voters receive a mail-in ballot automatically.

While Colorado continues in-person voting through election day November 3rd, but there will likely be even fewer overall in-person voters than during previous years due to the pandemic. Colorado had “record-breaking turnout” during the June primaries through their mail-in voting system. A reported 99.3 percent of voters submitted their ballots through the mail for this year’s primaries, and only .7 percent of Coloradans voted in person.

Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail-in voting will lead to voter fraud, though election officials in Colorado rely on a signature verification program, making a fraudulent ballot unlikely. If a ballot’s signature does not match the voter’s signature that the state has on record, it will be flagged. 

One flaw in the signature verification procedure is younger voters, who have fewer signature examples on file for comparison, are more likely to have their ballots flagged with a signature verification question. To address that flaw, the secretary of state launched a smartphone based solution, known as TXT2Cure, which allows younger voters the ability to quickly “cure” their ballot signature flag so their ballots can be counted with limited delay. Overall, Colorado’s ballot signature flag rates are extremely low — the lowest in the nation.

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