DENVER – Colorado had the nation’s second-highest turnout rate in the 2018 midterm election, according to the latest figures from the secretary of state’s office and the Florida-based United States Elections Project.
As of Tuesday, 2,581,426 Coloradans voted in last Tuesday’s election, though the signature-curing process and counting of military and overseas ballots won’t be finished until Wednesday. Some counties were still in the process of “duplicating” some ballots as well.
After those processes are complete, the counties and secretary of state’s office will conduct its risk-limiting audit at the end of the week.
But according to the U.S. Elections Project, Colorado had the nation’s second-highest turnout rate among its voting-eligible population.
At 61.9 percent of that population, Colorado ranked second behind Minnesota, which turned out 64.3 percent of its voting-eligible population. The U.S. Election Project says the voting-eligible population “represents an estimate of persons eligible to vote regardless of voter registration status.”
Oregon was third in turnout at 61.3 percent of its VEP; Wisconsin was fourth at 61.2 percent; and Montana was fifth at 60.6 percent.
When comparing the number of counted ballots so far and the number of active registered voters in Colorado (about 3.38 million), about 76.4 percent of active registered Colorado voters cast a ballot – way up from 2014.
High turnout numbers from Colorado’s Democrats and unaffiliated voters led to a wave for Democratic candidates in the midterm election. Democrats swept the races for the top state offices and re-took control of the state Senate to give the party the “trifecta” of controlling the governor’s office, state House and state Senate come January.
And high Election Day turnout in Denver and several suburban counties packed with unaffiliated voters have led to those candidates widening their victory margins in the days since. Denver Elections Division spokesperson Alton Dillard said Tuesday that 29 percent of the ballots the division received since Oct. 18 were returned on Election Day.
As of Tuesday, Democratic governor-elect Jared Polis had widened his victory over Republican Walker Stapleton to 10 percentage points. And Democrats had won by at least 6 percentage points in the attorney general, state treasurer and secretary of state races as well.
All Colorado election results will remain unofficial until a canvass is completed Nov. 20. Colorado had the nation's fourth-highest turnout rate during the 2016 presidential election.