Midterm turnout lags in comparison to previous years in Pitkin County | AspenTimes.com

Midterm turnout lags in comparison to previous years in Pitkin County

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Voter turnout in this year’s election is falling behind that of previous years but already ahead of the last midterm election cycle turnout of 2018.  

In Pitkin County, there are roughly 2000 mail-in ballots and 500 in person ballots to be processed in addition to the current 6,874 ballots counted, said Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder Ingrid Grueter. 

She said that “we expect to process just under 10,000 ballots in total.”

According to official state reports, as of 3:30 p.m. on Election Day, a total of 8,052 ballots were returned. Out of 13,655 active, registered voters, that brings the turnout to 58.9%. 

By comparison, a total of 8,633 ballots in Pitkin County were returned by 2:32 p.m. on Election Day in 2018. This brings that turnout to about 56%. 

Four years ago, Pitkin County turnout ultimately totaled 10,085 ballots overall with a turnout of 65.24%, according to state records.

With 13,655 active voters today, the current turnout is disappointing compared to just last year, when 74% of 13,918 active voters cast their ballots. 

Turnout to the polls is incredibly variable. Grueter said that the biggest surprise at the polls this year is the great increase in people who came in person to switch their voting registration.

“We had a lot of last minute changes in registration, much more than in the past,” she said of Tuesday’s turnout to the polls. 

In Eagle County, there were 18,528 ballots returned as of Tuesday afternoon, putting turnout at about 55% before the end of Election Day, according to state records.

Turnout to the polls on Election Day in the hours leading up to 7 p.m. are unpredictable and can increase ballot counts by hundreds if not thousands. There are 13,655 people active and registered voters in Pitkin County, 33,190 active registered voters in Eagle, and 36,984 active in Garfield County. 

Statewide, as of mid-afternoon on Tuesday, Colorado ballot returns totaled 2,039,527. 

In comparison, total ballots returned by the same time in 2018 numbered 2,062,777, eventually totaling 2,578,358 out of 3,946,475 voters registered. 

So, in the last local state election, 65.2% of registered voters showed out to the polls. In 2022, there are 3,822,221 active voters in the state of Colorado, and mid-day ballot count on Tuesday puts turnout at 53.3%, much lower than our 2018 equivalent.


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