Voter turnout rises in Douglas County

That's in-part due to ballots going out earlier, officials say


Douglas County is seeing a higher volume of ballots cast compared to the same period in 2016, according to county officials.

As of Oct. 23, about 58,500 more ballots had been returned in Douglas County compared to the same period in 2016, said county Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz.

“Volume is higher, there’s no question about it,” Klotz said.

That could be in part because of ballots going out nearly a week earlier this year, Klotz said. The county used a new, faster printer service for ballots and the post office “knocked it out of the park,” he said.

There’s also been a higher emphasis from each political party on voting early.

“That I appreciate,” Klotz, a Republican, said. “Our first counts are better when people vote early.”

The county’s increase in population is also likely responsible for the higher turnout, with about 36,000 new voters registered this year.

In-person voting has also seen more turnout than in years past, with 419 people coming out for the first day of voting this year compared to 113 coming out on the first day in 2016.

“One of the parties has been advocating voting in person,” Klotz said. “There’s no reason for anybody who doesn’t have a problem with their ballot to go vote in person.”

Klotz expects about 200,000 of the county’s 277,850 voters to participate in this election, he said.

“Traditionally I could expect 30% of votes to come in initially, another 30% in the middle and another 40% in the last two days,” Klotz said. “I would expect this year...maybe we will see 30% in the last two days.”

The state has also seen higher turnout than in years past, according to Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

"More than 1.4 million Coloradans have already voted, over 50% percent of Colorado’s total 2016 vote," Griswold said in a Tweet Oct. 23. "When every registered voter is mailed a ballot, it’s easier to have our voices heard. Let’s keep the high turnout and momentum going, Colorado!"


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