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Data: 30 percent of voters in primary election were unaffiliated

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Posted at 4:23 PM, Jul 09, 2024

EL PASO COUNTY — Turnout data from Colorado's Secretary of State office shows more than 30 percent of the voters that cast a ballot in June's primary in El Paso County were unaffiliated voters.

Since 2018, unaffiliated voters have been allowed to participate in primaries. Unaffiliated voters have to select one party's ballot to vote in, they cannot pick and choose a party for individual races on the ballot.

Overall, turnout was down for the 2024 primary compared to 2022. Data from the state still shows thousands of ballots considered "in process", but turnout still remains lower than two years ago.

For the June 25 primary in El Paso County, where the ballots included several contested races, about 60 percent of unaffiliated voters opted to vote in the Republican primary. The Republican ballot included a contentious primary for Colorado's 5th Congressional District and contested races for county commissioner, state senate, and state house seats.

Unaffiliated voters made up 40 percent of the ballots returned in El Paso County's Democratic primary compared to 30 percent in the Republican primary.

The role unaffiliated voters play in primaries has made headlines in the last couple of years in Colorado.

The Colorado Republican Party previously tried to close off its primaries to only registered Republicans, a judge ruled earlier this year that unaffiliated voters must be allowed to participate in primary elections under Colorado law.

Proposition 108, which Colorado voters passed in 2016 allows parties to close off its primaries, but only if three-quarters of the party's central committee supports the decision to opt out.

RELATED: Meet the Unaffiliated voters

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