DENVER – For the first day since ballot return numbers started being counted on Monday, Colorado Republicans returned more ballots Thursday than Colorado Democrats.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office updates the number of ballots returned via mail and votes made in-person each day, and breaks down the votes by which party each person who submitted a ballot is registered for.
Every ballot is categorized by each voter’s registration and does not say how a person voted. Colorado law allowed county clerks to start counting ballots on Oct. 24.
The county clerk's offices open the ballots, check their signatures to validate them, and scan the results. However, the results will not be tallied or released until after the polls close on Nov. 8.
Registered Republicans returned 45,668 ballots Thursday, about 1,500 more than Colorado’s registered Democrats, who submitted 44,152.
Unaffiliated voters, who make up the largest voter base in Colorado, submitted 33,359 ballots Thursday.
The 697,414 votes submitted so far represent around 21.6 percent of Colorado’s active registered electorate. In the last presidential election, in 2012, Colorado had a voter turnout of 71 percent.
When one compares the number of votes submitted by each party so far to the number of active registered voters in each party, trends continue to show that Democrats are voting early in higher percentages than their Republican or unaffiliated counterparts.
The 269,066 Democratic votes submitted so far represent 26.1 percent of the party’s state electorate; about 23.8 percent of registered Republicans have voted thus far; and approximately 15.8 percent of unaffiliated voters have already voted.
Those percentages differ from the latest Colorado voter registration numbers, which were updated by the Denver Clerk and Recorder on Oct. 27.
— Denver Elections (@DenverElections) October 28, 2016
That count showed there were 1,125,294 registered unaffiliated voters in Colorado; 1,031,415 registered Democrats and 1,018,091 Republicans registered in the state.
The updated numbers from the Denver Clerk and Recorder, when compared with the numbers last posted by the Secretary of State’s Office on Oct. 3, show an additional 32,570 people have registered as Democrats in Colorado over the time period, as have 25,147 Republicans and 44,856 unaffiliated voters.
Colorado Democrats maintain a voting lead of around 28,000 over Republicans, the next highest-voting party thus far.