Recall voting started high, may be tapering off

Clerks brace for packed-polls

Recall voting started high, may be tapering off

“I don’t want to brag,” said Gilbert Ortiz, from the busting offices of the Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder. Since opening its early voting locations just before Labor Day, the district has nearly 27,000 voters across ten locations deciding whether or not to recall Sen. Angela Giron.

“If we’re looking at it compared to early voting last year, when I think we had 10,000 to 11,000 voters over two weeks, we’re well above average,” said Ortiz, noting that it’s a bit of an apples to oranges exercise to compare the circus of the historical, off-year, legally tangled Colorado recall elections to any other.

In Colorado Springs, where El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams opened polling locations well after Pueblo, the figures are lower. Just over 12,000 of Senate President John Morse’s constituents have cast their ballots

Williams’s office estimates a breakdown in early votes that mimics Morse’s district — about a third each registered to Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. As of Monday morning, registered Republicans led the pack with almost 5,000 votes cast.

For Ortiz, the overall difference in voter turnout between the districts doesn’t surprise him much. In addition to having more centers open for more days, he said, “We just have more voters in our senate district.”

Both Ortiz and Williams are bracing for potentially record numbers today. Williams repeatedly urged voters to hit the polls on a special Saturday opening to avoid the lengthy lines that plagued the centers when they first opened.

“We had 17,000 people vote in person on election day last year,” said Ortiz Monday. “That’s basically what I’m expecting tomorrow.”

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About the Author

Tessa Cheek

She writes and makes photos about communities. Her book, Great Wall Style, a monograph-profile-lyric essay, is out from Images Publishing. tcheek@coloradoindependent.com | 720-440-2527 | @tessacheek

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