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Republicans Have The Edge In Colorado Early Voting

Nathan Heffel
A mail ballot for the City and County of Denver

About ten percent of Colorado’s registered voters have already cast ballots for the Nov. 5 election. So far Republicans have turned out in higher numbers.

The latest figures from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office show 53,000 more Republicans (191,000) have voted compared to Democrats (138,000). Unaffiliated voters have the lowest turnout up to this point with just 119,391 voting.

But with election-day a week away, there’s still time to turn in ballots.

“I would say it looks like turnout is tracking ‘similar’ to 2011 as of now,” said Andrew Cole, a spokesman with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

Cole notes that this election will be unique because a new state law requires every voter to receive a mail in ballot.

“I think there’s going to be a learning curve among voters. Some people are going to get ballots who aren’t used to it,” said Cole. “Other people who like to vote in person may see a different voting location because now all counties are going to voting service centers rather than polling places.”

Turnout in off year elections is generally lower than in presidential years. Voters only have two statewide measures on the ballot this year – a sales and excise tax for recreational marijuana, and an income tax increase for public schools.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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