Voter turnout in Colorado primary election remains below 2020 and 2022 levels • Colorado Newsline

Voter turnout in Colorado primary election remains below 2020 and 2022 levels • Colorado Newsline

Voter turnout in Colorado’s primary election on Tuesday was below the numbers seen in 2020 and 2022, according to data from the State Department.

As of 9 a.m. Friday, just over 530,000 people had cast their ballots, representing about 13.8 percent of the state’s active registered voters.

Four days before the 2022 primary, about 15.5% of voters had cast their ballots. In 2020, the last primary in a presidential election year, about 26.5% of voters had cast their ballots by this time before Election Day.

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Voters will decide on their parties’ nominations in various congressional and state elections, as well as some local elections. The winners of the primaries will then advance to the general election in November.

“It’s a little surprising, especially considering the races in Congressional Districts 3, 4 and 5 – and 8,” said Matt Crane, executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association, noting the closely contested Republican races in those right-leaning districts.

“We are seeing a trend of more and more people casting their ballots on election day. So we will see if that trend continues,” he said.

But an influx of ballots returned on Election Day could lead to a longer process for announcing election results, especially if the results are expected to be very close. Voters will need to be patient, he said, while county officials and their election teams process the ballots and may not announce winners until Tuesday evening.

Crane said most officials he has spoken to have been “underwhelmed” by the turnout so far.

“I’ve been voting in elections for 20 years now and voter turnout this low is heartbreaking because we want to give people every opportunity to make their voices heard. Every election is important, whether it’s a general election or a primary,” said Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes. “Voting is essential to a living and breathing government.”

In her district, Koppes said, the number of votes cast is currently about 3,000 votes below the 2022 numbers and nearly 20,000 votes below the 2020 numbers. The low turnout also extends to the approximately 60,000 Weld County voters who are eligible to vote in the special election to fill vacancies in the 4th Congressional District.

“Maybe people are already burned out from the election campaign,” Koppes said of a possible reason for the low voter turnout. “It hasn’t been particularly pleasant. People may want to enjoy the summer before voting, but I have the feeling they’re fed up with all the hustle and bustle at the moment.”

She said she is using county party officials to remind members to cast their ballots.

People registered with either the Democratic or Republican Party can vote in their party’s primary. Independent voters, who make up the largest voting bloc in Colorado, can vote in both primaries.

Voters have until 7 p.m. on June 25 to drop off their ballot at a drop box or physical voting center. Voters can also register, update their registration and cast their vote at a voting center.