DENVER – Voting for Colorado’s Tuesday primary is greatly outpacing the number of votes cast in the 2018 primary, according to data released Monday by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.
And though there are major differences between this year’s primary election and the 2018 primary – namely that there is a Democratic U.S. Senate primary on this year’s ballot – the data show that 330,554 unaffiliated voters had already returned their ballots. The data also show that nearly 600,000 Democratic ballots had been returned, along with 408,894 Republican ballots.
Those figures are markedly higher than they were in 2018 – the first year that unaffiliated Colorado voters were able to participate in party primaries. Unaffiliated voters typically get both a Democratic and a Republican ballot but may only vote on one. Some unaffiliated voters choose to request one specific ballot before an election.
In 2018, roughly 350,000 Democratic ballots had been turned in by two days before the election, while just over 300,000 Republican ballots had been returned and processed.
Among unaffiliated ballots that had been returned as of Sunday night, about 60% were Democratic ballots. Republican ballots accounted for about 24% of processed unaffiliated votes, while 16% of the ballots submitted were still being processed.
Though John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff are squaring off in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner does not have a primary opponent. And in some congressional districts and state House and Senate races, some candidates of both parties are running unopposed.
According to University of Denver Political Science Professor Seth Masket, the percentages of ballots returned thus far as a factor of the number of registered voters is well up from 2018 as well.
Ballots returned in CO primary as a percentage of active voters, day before Election Day in 2020 and 2018:
Dems: 56.2% 26.1%
Reps: 41.9% 26.0%
Unaff: 23.2% 13.2%#COpolitics
— Seth Masket (@smotus) June 29, 2020
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in an interview last week that she expected turnout to be high for this year’s primary.
Ballots have to be dropped in drop boxes by 7 p.m. Tuesday in order for your vote to count. In-person polling places will also be open until 7 p.m. in most cases, and if there are still lines when polls close at 7 p.m., those people will still be able to cast their ballot.
Click here to find your nearest ballot drop box and for more on the June 30 primary and voting.
Denver7 will have live election results starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday and will be updating a live elections blog throughout the day and evening to keep our readers and viewers updated on the latest developments.