PUEBLO, Colorado — A record 89,705 ballots were cast by Pueblo County Voters in the 2020 General Election eclipsing the previous record from 2016 by nearly 9,000 votes.
"It's incredible the amount of voter turnout that out there, that's happening right now," said Clerk and Recorder Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz.
He said county election workers have been putting in long hours during the past three weeks processing all of the ballots that have come in.
"We passed 2016 numbers earlier this morning, we received 4,000 ballots this morning from the 24-hour drop boxes," Ortiz said.
As the mid-day tally was approaching 80,000 ballots, Ortiz speculated that the final count could reach even higher.
"I'm thinking past 90,000 here in Pueblo County, I think we're going to be very close to maybe even hitting 100,000," he said.
With ballot boxes filling up fast, the election crews kept a steady rotation of pick-ups at the drop boxes and polling centers throughout the day.
"I think it's fantastic," said Ronald Hovdestad when he was told that Pueblo voters had already set a record.
He and other voters visiting the polling center at the Pueblo West Library said the processes went smoothly without much of a wait.
"It seemed very safe, to me, the flow was good," said Holly Farbo. "I think they handled it pretty well."
Farbo said she recently moved to Pueblo from Pennsylvania and one of her first stops was the DMV so that she could change her driver's license and register to vote.
"I always love, no matter what side you're on, to see people vote and exercise that right," she said. "That's very important about being an American."
"To be quite honest, I haven't voted since Ronald Reagan," Paul Fowler said.
He didn't see much of a difference between the candidates in previous elections but said there was too much at stake this year to sit on the sidelines.
"I feel glad that I did it, and I'm happy to be a part of it," Folwer said. "Trying to recognize that it is every individual's responsibility to take that responsibility."
The county hired temporary staff to help manage the influx of ballots. Voters who opted to visit polling places in person were asked to wear masks and stand six feet apart while they waited. The ballot booths were wiped down and sanitized in-between voters.