In Denver, voting lines nearly non-existent on Election Day

As of early Tuesday morning, more than 2.2 million ballots had been submitted through the mail or by drop-off to county voting centers around the state, beating the total number of ballots cast in Colorado in 2014 by more than 150,000.

Those who still hadn’t voted or even registered to vote could still cast their ballots through 7 p.m. Tuesday, and hundreds of thousands were expected to do so.

In heavily Democratic Boulder County, computer problems have caused a few delays. Elections spokesperson Mircalla Wozniak characterized the problems as “minor.”

Wozniak said printers in about half of the locations countywide have had problems, which means some Boulder ballots will have to be reviewed by elections judges, similar to the process for reviewing provisional ballots.

Wozniak estimated the total number affected ballots to be in the hundreds, out of more than 200,000 ballots expected to be cast countywide. So far, Wozniak said, they’ve had voter lines in only one place, at the University of Colorado.

The situation in Larimer County is a little messier. Election results there are unlikely to be available until Wednesday, according to The Loveland Reporter-Herald, citing the county’s clerk and recorder. While it’s not a technical problem, the Larimer County clerk and recorder said that election judges cannot count more than 20,000 ballots in one day, and the county anticipates more than 20,000 people will vote on Tuesday.

Billy Bob McCoy of Denver, who voted on Election Day because he's "old school."
Billy Bob McCoy of Denver, who voted on Election Day because he’s “old school.”

Long lines for voting appear to be rare. As of 3 p.m., in Denver, the longest wait has been about 45 minutes to an hour at the Capitol Hill Corona Presbyterian Church, but Alton Dillard, spokesman* for Denver Elections, pointed out that there are 26 voting centers around the city and most have no lines at all.

Secretary of State spokeswoman Lynn Bartels tweeted that the statewide voter registration system went down for 29 minutes late Tuesday afternoon, from 2:47 p.m. to 3:16 p.m. She says the system is now back up.

Billy Bob McCoy of Denver was one of the dozens who showed up at the Denver Elections office at 14th and Bannock Tuesday. He said he waited until Election Day to vote because he’s “old school” and likes voting on Election Day.

Gov John Hickenlooper and CU Regent Michael Carrigan greet voters outside a voting service center in Capitol Hill.
Gov John Hickenlooper and CU Regent Michael Carrigan greet voters outside a voting service center in Capitol Hill.

Gov. John Hickenlooper visited with voters in the line at Corona Presbyterian, shaking hands and thanking voters for waiting in line to vote. “It’s a beautiful day,” Hickenlooper said, and “an honor to watch people vote.”

Vote Check photo by League of Women Voters via Creative Commons license, Flickr

Photo of McCoy and Hickenlooper/Carrigan by Allen Tian, The Colorado Independent

*Correction: Alton Dillard is spokesman for Denver Elections Division, not its director.

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.


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