Voting Today? Be Prepared For Lines

More Than 3 Million Voters Registered In Colorado

If you plan on voting today, bring identification, and be prepared for a wait.

Even for those who turned out early, there were scattered reports of problems at some polls, from polling places not opening on time to computer problems.

On Tuesday, some polls had long lines when they opened, including one in suburban Fort Collins that was two blocks long.

This year, valid identification is required before you are allowed to vote. A driver's license will suffice, election officials say. But if the address on your license doesn't match the one on record, some polling places may turn you away. However, this is wrong. You can still vote on a provisional ballot, authorities said.

A spokeswoman for the Colorado secretary of state's office said that nearly 850,000 people voted early or by absentee. That compares to more than 775,000 people who voted early in 2000.

Lisa Duran predicts voter turnout will be between 70 percent to 75 percent this year.

Voter registration drives and other efforts have bumped the number of registered voters to more than 3 million statewide.

According to pollster Floyd Ciruli, if 70 percent of those voters turn out, more than 2 million people will have cast ballots.

That would be a record.

In the 2000 presidential election, almost 1.8 million people voted. That was a 61 percent turnout rate.

In 1992, about 80 percent of Colorado's 2 million voters registered voters turned out.

That was the year former President Bill Clinton carried the state, and the last year Democrats had a plurality of registered voters in Colorado.

Since 1992, more than a million new voters have registered in Colorado. Republicans now outnumber registered Democrats by 178,000 voters.

Republicans account for about 1.1 million registered voters, while Democrats account for almost 948,000 registered voters.

However, more than one million voters are registered independents.

Other political parties don't exceed 12,000 registered voters in Colorado..

Contact Your County Clerk For Polling Place Information

Adams County County Clerk: (303) 654-6030

Arapahoe County County Clerk: (303) 795-4511

Broomfield County County Clerk : (303) 464-5899

Boulder County County Clerk: (303) 413-7740

Clear Creek County County Clerk : (303) 679-2339

Denver County Election Commission: 720-913-8683

Douglas County County Clerk: (303) 660-7444

Gilpin County County Clerk : (303) 582-5321

Jefferson County County Clerk: (303) 271-8111

Larimer County County Clerk: (970) 498-7820

Park County County Clerk: (719) 836-4222

Weld County County Clerk: (970) 304-6525

Colorado Ballot Filled With Choices

Colorado was very much in play in the presidential raceTuesday, with some polls showing Democrat John Kerry within range of President Bush and the race for an open Senate seat expected to come down to just a few percentage points.

Adding to the intrigue was the vote on a ballot measure to split up Colorado's nine electoral votes and award them based on the statewide popular vote. Opponents said passage of Amendment 36 would almost certainly lead to lawsuits that could disrupt a tight presidential race and turn Colorado into another Florida.

Late polls suggested Bush had a comfortable lead in a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat since Bill Clinton in 1992 and only one other Democrat in the past half-century.

Kerry's campaign canceled TV advertisements late in the campaign, though his staff said they were happy to see Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney forced to repeatedly visit Colorado -- Cheney as recently as Monday.

The sharpest barbs on the campaign trail came from the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, the only American Indian in the Senate.

Democrat Ken Salazar and Republican Pete Coors drew nationwide attention and criticism for their spending -- nearly $15 million, the most in Colorado political history -- and their accusations. The race has the potential to swing control of the Senate, where Republicans hold a 51-48 majority, with one Democrat-leaning independent.

Coors, the chairman of Coors Brewing Co., portrayed himself as a Washington outsider with a strong sense of family and great business acumen. Democrats said he was nothing more than a big name -- a made-for-TV candidate whose political leanings -- he opposes gay marriage -- don't always mesh with the policies of his multimillion-dollar company.

Salazar, the state's two-term attorney general, pitched himself as a man of the people, a hardworking law enforcer who understands the realities in both urban and rural Colorado. But he took hits for his history as a trial lawyer, enforcement of environmental laws and a reluctance to campaign alongside Kerry until late October.

Other competitive races included one between Salazar's brother, John, and Republican Greg Walcher for a seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Scott McInnis. The state's other House incumbents were expected to win re-election, thought Republican Reps. Bob Beauprez and Marilyn Musgrave found themselves in bitter campaigns.

Besides Amendment 36, Colorado voters were also being asked to:

  • Raise the state's cigarette tax from 20 cents to 84 cents per pack, mostly to fund health care and education programs.

  • Order the state's largest utilities to use renewable energy, rising to 10 percent of the total by 2015.

    Watch 7NEWS from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. For Complete Election Coverage Then Tune To Comcast Digital Cable Channel 247 For Live, Local Coverage Through The Night

    Or Return To TheDenverChannel For Live Video Of Our Coverage, Starting At 5 p.m.

    Previous Stories:

  • Print this article Back to Top