NewsCovering Colorado


So far, voter turnout in Southeast Colorado Springs lower than other parts of the city

Posted at 11:02 PM, Mar 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 11:37:30-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — As of Tuesday night, more than 18,000 voters in Colorado Springs have returned their ballot for the city election, which is about 6% of registered voters in the city. That's according to a new tool the city clerk's office introduced on their website.

The map allows you to track voter turnout across the city or in your community, but one community in particular is seeing the least amount of voter turnout once again.

If you look at the map, you'll also see that only 3.5% of voters have returned their ballots in District 4, which is in Southeast Springs. Compare that to 7.3% of registered voters in District 1, which is mostly in the Northwest part of the city.

Mike Williams, the executive director of the Citizens Project, said that House District 17 in Southeast Springs has the third lowest voter turnout in the state. The organization also conducted voter turnout survey in the area to see why people aren't voting.

“There are challenges in the Southeast that aren't in other places in the city,” said Williams. “People are dealing with an adverse set of circumstances and overcoming them at a phenomenal rate.”

“Transportation down there (in Southeast Springs) is a huge thing. So for people to be able to get to a place, get to work, when most people walk to grocery stores, etc. they're not necessarily as willing to walk extra to drop off a ballot,” Williams added.

Williams also said based off the survey, they also found that many people feel like there's not enough information available for elections, or they don't feel informed enough to vote.

“And then the biggest one that we continually heard is people just feel like their voices aren't heard, which kind of discourages a lot of people from voting if they feel like their voices aren't heard,” said Williams.

The organization said their approach this election is making people aware of the impact and power in their vote

News5 also spoke to a resident in Southeast Springs, whose lived in the area for more than 20 years and has never voted.

“No, I’m not voting,” said Antoinette Salas. “I just never really thought to vote so much, didn't think my vote would really matter out there,” she added.

But after talking to News5, Salas said she's considering registering to vote in the future.

“You definitely made me interested in it because I do think about things like that,” said Salas.

The data on the voter turnout interactive map is updated every day after election workers collect ballots from the postal service and the other drop box locations in the city.

Sarah Johnson, the city clerk said the city used to provide this data to campaigns for a fee. Those campaigns would then use the information for get-out-the-vote efforts. The decision was made to release the turnout data publicly to be more transparent.

Voters must return their ballots by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, April 4 to be counted. If you plan to return your ballot by mail, remember to include enough postage and make sure to get it to the post office at least 1 week before election day.

The Citizens Project provides resources and educates people on how easy it is to vote and register to vote. The nonprofit also hosts candidate forums ahead of elections, including one that happened at Sand Creek High School on Tuesday night.

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