Heading into the weekend, 37,689 Boulder County voters had returned their completed election ballots as of Thursday night — a number that amounts to about 16.1% of the total 234,533 active voters the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office hason the county’s current registration rolls.
Friday’s daily voter-turnout report from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office showed that Broomfield and Weld counties also each had received less than 25% of the completed ballots they’d distributed to their counties’ voters.
Broomfield voters had mailed back or dropped off 9,625 completed ballots by Thursday night — amounting to about 18% of the active registered voters on that city and county’s rolls as of Oct. 1. Broomfield voters are deciding contests for mayor and five ward council members.
Weld County voters had mailed back or dropped off 27,034 completed ballots by Thursday night, about 13% of the 207,544 active registered voters on Weld’s rolls as of Oct. 1.
Statewide, 622,223 Colorado voters’ ballots had been returned to their county clerks by Thursday night, according to the Secretary of State’s report. That’s equivalent to 16% of the 3,877,408 active Colorado voters on registration rolls at the start of this month.
Coloradans can, however, continue to vote and drop off their ballots right up through 7 p.m. Tuesday, something being urged across the state by local candidates for city councils and school boards and their supporters as well as get-out-the-vote efforts still being pushed by proponents and opponents of ballot questions in local jurisdictions.
Ballots cast in this year’s election must be received by Colorado county clerks’ elections divisions by 7 p.m. Election Day. Mail ballots received after that won’t be counted, even if postmarks indicate they were mailed back before Tuesday.
If the past three odd-numbered-year elections are any indication, fewer than half of Boulder County’s eligible voters will cast ballots this year, even if there is a surge in voting in-person and dropping off completed ballots over the next few days.
In 2019, about 52% of the active voters on the county’s rolls voted in that year’s coordinated election. In the November 2017 election, 43.6% of active registered Boulder County voters cast ballots. In November 2015, 44.9% of the county’s active registered voters cast ballots, according to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
“While we typically have above average turnout even for our local elections, it is still far lower than our presidential and even year elections,” Boulder County Clerk ad Recorder Molly Fitzpatrick said in a Friday email.
“I encourage everyone to vote every year as participation in local elections is incredibly important. Local elections impact everything from transportation to open space, public safety to affordable housing, so go vote!” Fitzpatrick said.
Turnouts are typically much higher in presidential election years and in so-called “mid-term” years — even-numbered years — where the ballots don’t include the presidency but do have contests for other federal, state and county government offices as well as statewide and local ballot questions.
Last year, for example, in the presidential-year general election, 156,024 Boulder County voters had returned their completed 2020 election ballots by the Thursday before Election Day, 68% percent of the total 228,208 active voters on the county’s registration rolls at that time.
This non-presidential election year, voters in Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville and Longmont are being asked to mark their ballots with their choices of people seeking city council seats. Voters in several of those cities — as well as voters in Lyons and Superior — also have the opportunity to help decide the fates of a number of municipal ballot questions.
The current voter-registration totals and the ballot-received tallies as of Thursday from each of those cities, according to the Boulder County Clerk’s Elections Division, are:
Boulder: 69,361 active registered voters; 10,106 ballots returned.
Lafayette: 21,835 active registered voters; 3,329 ballots returned.
Longmont: 67,084 active registered voters; 10,044 ballots returned.
Louisville: 16,064 active registered voters; 3,085 ballots returned.
Lyons: 1,748 active registered voters; 167 ballots returned.
Superior: 9,350 active registered voters; 1,299 ballots returned.
Figures were not immediately available Friday afternoon about how many completed ballots had been returned to the Weld County Clerk and Recorder’s Office from Dacono voters, who are electing a mayor and two city council members, or by Mead voters, who are considering permitting marijuana businesses and imposing a street improvements tax.