Active Dem voters in Colorado overtake GOP for first time in 30 years



With two weeks until ballots drop in Colorado, new voter registration data show there are more registered Democrats than Republicans here for the first time in three decades.

According to the Oct. 1 figures from the Secretary of State’s office, Colorado has 5,901 more active Democratic voters than Republicans statewide.

That’s a big jump in just the past month.

In September, Dems were still trailing active registered Republican voters here by about 3,000. In the past 30 days they closed the gap — and then some.

Each month, the Secretary of State releases a data dump of voter registration figures. In July, the report made headlines because registered Democrats outpaced registered Republicans here for the first time in decades. But the caveat was that there were still about 8,400 more active Republican voters throughout the state than Democrats.

Within the past three months, Democrats have overtaken Republicans in both active and inactive categories.

“Active” voters are registered voters who have an address that the Secretary of State’s office can confirm with a mailing. “Inactive” voters include voters who don’t appear to live at the address the state has on record. “Both are eligible to vote,” says Secretary of State spokeswoman Lynn Bartels, but her office can’t send a ballot to an inactive voter because officials know the address is wrong and ballots cannot be forwarded.

That’s important because Colorado went to mail-in ballots after a change in state voting laws in 2013. This year will be the first presidential election in Colorado under the new vote-by-mail system.

Related: Colorado’s first all-mail presidential election: Vote early and they’ll leave you alone

As of Oct. 1, there were 1,171,067 registered active and inactive Democrats versus 1,147,064 Republicans — a difference of slightly more than 24,000. Colorado’s largest voting bloc is still unaffiliated voters, who number 1.2 million.

Related: Are you one of Colorado’s half million inactive voters? Here’s how to find out.

Some of the credit for the state Democratic Party’s high registration numbers might come from Hillary Clinton’s Colorado campaign. According that effort’s spokeswoman, Meredith Thatcher, the campaign has registered “thousands and thousands” of new voters in recent months, many of them on college campuses.


*A previous version of this post reported active Democratic voters outpaced Republican voters here for the first time in 20 years. The Secretary of State’s office says it’s actually 30 years. 

Photo by David for Creative Commons on Flickr