For election junkies reading Colorado’s tealeaves, the brew appears to be strong in 2013.
Pre-election turnout results provided by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office indicates a strong likelihood of higher voter turnout than in the last off-year election in at least a handful of counties, such as Adams, Douglas, and Weld. This year, all Colorado voters received a ballot by mail. The election in 2011 offered a variety of options, including vote centers and early voting, in addition to the option of a mail-in ballot.
A side-by-side comparison of turnout results broken down by county and party and made available in the final hours of the 2013 campaign reveal that at least 4 counties have exceeded their 2011 results in terms of ballot turnout so far. Adams County, for example, has seen 53,225 ballots returned through November 4. This exceeds the final pre-election results in 2011 of 46,769. Among active voters, Adams saw a 44.32 percent final turnout in 2011.
Similar turnout increases can be observed in Broomfield, Douglas, and Weld counties.
But Douglas County is unique. The penultimate report indicates that voters there–faced with a contentious school board election receiving national attention–have already exceeded their total voter turnout from 2011 by nearly 1000 votes, with final figures due tomorrow. So far 69,521 ballots have been cast there in 2013 compared to a total of 68,682 in 2011. That year, 48.32 percent of active voters cast their ballot in the county.
Driving the increase are higher turnouts across all three major voting segments in Douglas County. Roughly 2,220 more Democrats, 4,500 more Republicans, and 5,200 more unaffiliated voters have already mailed in or delivered their ballots than at a similar time two years prior.
Just over 50 percent of active voters statewide turned out in 2011, casting 1,075,720 ballots. Preliminary results reveal that pacing among Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters has shifted in favor of those not registered with either party.
Nearly 27 percent of early ballots—compared to 24.6 percent in 2011—have come from unaffiliated voters. Both Democrats and Republicans have seen their percentages fall, roughly 2 and 1 percent, respectively. Republicans hold a partisan ballot advantage of approximately 76,000 this November, compared to 73,000 two years ago.
That year, voters statewide rejected Prop 103, a tax increase for education. Only 3 of Colorado’s 64 counties voted in favor of the tax hike.
Final pre-election totals will be available early Tuesday morning from the Secretary of State.
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