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Election leaders see low voter turnout so far for Colorado's June 2024 primary

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Posted at 10:31 AM, Jun 25, 2024

DENVER — Turnout for Tuesday’s state primary election is lower than the turnout at this point in 2022 and 2020, according to elections officials.

As of Monday, only 16% of eligible voters in Colorado had returned a ballot for the June 25 state primary, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

The turnout is even lower in Denver. According to the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office, just 12.6% of voters have returned their ballots, compared to 17.7% at the same time in the 2022 state primary election.

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Denver resident Letty Icolari returned her ballot on Monday.

“Since I was old enough to vote, I have never missed an election, ever,” she said. “Not a general, not a primary or a local, nothing. So voting is in my DNA.”

Local and state election leaders are encouraging more people to let their voices be heard.

“Let me just say this that the sooner you vote, the better,” said Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul Lopez.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said while statewide turnout is down two percent from where it was at this point in 2022, it doesn’t mean it will remain that way.

“We've seen election after election turnout tending to catch up on election day itself. So I wouldn't read too much into the numbers at this point,” said Griswold.

But there is one thing election leaders are very concerned about.

“I think the greatest threat that we face is misinformation,” said Lopez.

A survey by the American Politics Research Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder released earlier this year showed that while 88% of Democrats believed Colorado’s elections would be conducted fairly and accurately, only 54% of Republicans and 63% of unaffiliated voters did.

“We have the easiest, most accessible, most secure election model out there,” Griswold said.

She said Colorado’s election model is the best in the nation. She said the fact that 99% of voters choose to mail their ballots compared to voting in person shows most voters have confidence in the process.

“But at the same time, when you have elected leaders continue to lie to Coloradans and the American people leaders that they should be able to trust in it has a real effect,” Griswold said, citing former President Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

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“The big lie we have seen up front and personal here, not only in degrading confidence but in the security breaches we saw both in Mesa County and Elbert County,” said Griswold. “Ultimately, we need elected officials and people in places of power to stop lying.”

Elections officials want to remind voters of the safeguards in place.

There are more than 400 drop boxes across the state. Under state law, they must be monitored 24 hours by video surveillance and kept in well-lit locations. Bipartisan teams then visit the drop-off boxes to collect the ballots.

The ballots are placed in a box, which is sealed shut and kept sealed until it’s time to count the votes.

Icolari feels good about casting her ballot and hopes others won’t let misinformation — or anything else — stop them from making their voices heard.

Election leaders see low voter turnout so far for Colorado's June 2024 primary