PRIMARY 2018: 833,638 Coloradans voted before election day
Authors: Mark Harden, Associated Press - June 26, 2018 - Updated: June 28, 2018
Before “election day” dawned Tuesday, 833,638 Coloradans had already voted.
And for the first time in a Colorado primary election, that total included a sizable number of unaffiliated voters.
In his last report on returned ballots before votes are counted after the polls close tonight, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams — the overseer of statewide elections — said that as of late Monday, 324,206 ballots had been cast by Democrats, 311,329 by Republicans and 198,103 by unaffiliated voters.
That’s out of about 3.8 million registered voters in the state.
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For the first time, under an initiative that passed in 2016, the state’s 1.2 million active unaffiliated voters had the option of choosing to vote in either the Democratic or the Republican primary, helping to nominate those party’s candidates for governor, Congress and the state legislature. Unaffiliated voters received both parties’ ballots but were allowed to return only one.
As of late Monday, 96,240 unaffiliateds had returned Democratic ballots and 64,082 had returned Republican ballots.
Ballots from another 37,781 unaffiliated voters had not yet been opened by Monday night, so the party preference had not yet been determined.
Before election day, women were outvoting men, 446,638 to 382,560, Williams’ report said.
Williams said his office invested $900,000 in educating unaffiliated voters about the change.
“Citizens who make decisions here typically vote both Democrat and Republican. They’re used to being able to pick a Democrat for one office and a Republican for another office,” Williams said. “My goal has been to keep the disqualification rate as low as possible.”