“With four weeks remaining until the August 12th primary election and nearly four months until the November 4th general election we are certain the record number of mail-in ballot requests in 2008 will far exceed any previous year by a large margin,” Balink announced late this week.
Two years ago, half as many mail-in ballots were sent to voters in the southern Colorado county — the state’s most populated. Since then, state law has been changed to allow people to become permanent mail-in voters.
Certainly driving early voter interest are three heavily contested Republican primaries.
In the 5th Congressional District, Jeff Crank and Bentley Rayburn are challenging Rep. Doug Lamborn in a race that is getting uglier by the day. Attorney Mark Waller has taken on state Rep. Douglas Bruce in a race that has been ugly from day one. And attorney Dan May has returned for a grudge match against District Attorney John Newsome, after Newsome was captured on video this spring drinking the equivalent of a 13-pack in a downtown Colorado Springs bar and then getting into his county-owned SUV and driving away.
Notably, in 2006 the early and absentee vote put Lamborn over the top in a closely contested five-way race against Crank, Rayburn and two others. Once all the votes were tallied, Lamborn finished first, beating Crank with less than 1,000 votes.