Moffat County Clerk and Recorder: Voter turnout higher than expected

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By the numbers ...

• Registered voters in Moffat County — 9,014

• Number of mail-in ballots sent to active voters — 5,413

• Number of mail-in ballots tallied in Tuesday’s election — 2,783

• Voter turnout Tuesday — 30.8 percent

• Voter turnout rate for active voters — 51.4 percent

Votes are tallied and the results are in for Tuesday’s election that featured five Moffat County School Board candidates and Proposition 103, a state tax question.

Tuesday’s election was the first since 1993 that local voters participated in an all mail-in election.

Of Moffat County’s 9,014 registered voters, more than 5,400 were active and received mail-in ballots beginning Oct. 11.

Of those active voters, 2,783 cast a ballot for Tuesday’s election — a voter turnout rate of better than 50 percent.

Lila Herod, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder, said she was pleased with the results.

“We were hoping to receive 2,000 ballots,” Herod said. “We are very pleased with the turnout.”

Stephanie Beckett, Moffat County elections supervisor, was equally pleased, but she said there was some confusion among voters about the mail-in process.

“We received some comments from people who didn’t understand the whole mail-in process, but that was minimal,” Beckett said. “Overall though, we received a positive response from the community.”

When asked if mail-in elections would be pursued in the future, Herod said voters have always had the option to receive their ballot in the mail.

According to records, approximately 2,500 Moffat County voters have requested to receive all of their ballots in the mail. Approximately 80 percent of registered Colorado voters are also on the permanent mail-in ballot list.

“A lot of folks vote through the mail already because they like the convenience,” Herod said. “But, we also have a lot of people who prefer to go to the polls because it is still viewed as a community event.”

Herod said it was good to get some hands on “practice” of the mail-in ballot process and that she would like to conduct another mail-in election again in the future.

“I would definitely like to do this again during another coordinated election,” Herod said. “But, probably not next year.”

Beckett said voter response this year more than doubled when compared to the last off year election in 2009.

Moffat County voters cast 1,009 ballots that year, Beckett said.

Herod said voter turnout depends largely on the ballot issues, but she is convinced participation increases when mail-in ballots are an option.

“The previous election was not done by mail,” Herod said. “I think voter turnout increases when you give people the option.”

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Comments

kathy foos 3 years, 1 month ago

Those mail in are a blessing up here in the high country,especially for the elderly,election day is much easier and the weather wont interfere.

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