An avalanche of mail-in ballots in Colorado. But who’s counting?

Tracking election data in Colorado is kind of like approaching a water mirage on a long car trip. Just when you think you’ve reached that shimmery puddle of water on the highway, it disappears. One minute, The New York Times reports that 1.4 million of the state’s registered voters have requested mail-in ballots, and then, within a matter of days the number ups to 1.5 million. It’s enough to make a journalist (or anyone else who tracks this stuff) go crazy and start using overblown, flowery metaphors.

Luckily, Colorado’s Secretary of State Mike Coffman has helped ease the problem. Yesterday, Coffman unveiled an election tracker on the secretary of state’s Web site. Here, visitors can check to see how many voters have requested mail-in ballots and how many have turned them in (1.5 million and 248,800 respectively, as of Monday), how many people voted early (20,600), and the numbers of registered Republicans and Democrats, by county, across the state. The data is updated daily.

Site users can also check the status of their mail-in ballot applications, by clicking the “Verify your Voter Registration Information” link. And no, it’s not too late to request a mail-in ballot. You have until Tuesday, October 28 to do so.