Dems take lead in returning ballots in first week

Colorado voters are turning in their ballots at a rate far exceeding the numbers of 2014, according to ballot return information posted throughout the week by the Colorado Secretary of State.

As of Friday, a total of 697,414 ballots have been returned. Compared to the 11th day before the 2014 election, that’s about a 26 percent higher return.

But the big difference is in who’s returning the ballots.

Registered Democrats have sent in 269,066 ballots; Republicans, 241,750 ballots and unaffiliated voters, 177,225 ballots.

At this point two years ago, Republicans had overwhelmingly returned more ballots than Democrats —  more than 60,000 more.

In 2014, about 2 million people voted. In that election, Republicans outnumbered Democrats from day one on returning ballots, and in the end more Republicans than Democrats voted, by  more than 112,000 votes.

Republicans have held an advantage in active voter registrations for all of 2016, but that changed on Oct. 1, when Democrats for the first time outnumbered Republicans in active voter numbers by about 6,000.

This nifty little website run by the Secretary of State tells you all kinds of things about your ballot: when it was mailed to you by your county clerk, whether your ballot has been accepted and will be counted on Election Day (if you’ve already turned it in). This is a handy way to make sure you signed the envelope, one of the more common reasons a ballot is rejected.

If you live in Denver, you can even sign up to get a text message that notifies you when your ballot is received, and more importantly, if there are any problems with your ballot.

If your ballot is rejected for any reason, your best bet is to go to your local voting service center to address the issue.

Photo credit: Corey Hutchins, The Colorado Independent

has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.


  1. If you factor in that our population according the state demographer’s office( grown by 250K between the years 2014 & 2016. it’s valid to infer that a majority of that 4.5% would be eligible voters.

    population growth absolutely is one of the primary reasons for the increase in early voting. not the only one of course but one of the most significant variables in play. So that 26% increase when growth taken into account would be closer to 22%.

    Not meant to pick on the CO Ind, no media outlet in the state factors in the statistical significance of population growth into anything reported on? not in regards to our election, to traffic fatalities, crime, etc.

    the RATE matters to tell a ‘story’ of change. raw numbers only do tell a story when the population is static, no change up or down.

    your paper stands out from the rest in our state in how well it does the news. that is the only reason i even made mention. you set the bar high, i just want to keep it up in that rarefied air is all. thanks!

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