Moffat County election sees 46.9% turnout
Lower turnout isn’t uncommon for odd years, according to elections past
Just under half of Moffat County’s registered voters turned in ballots by Tuesday night’s deadline, according to data from the county clerk’s office. In total, poll workers counted 4,088 votes last night — or 46.93% of all registered voters in the county.
Odd-year elections tend to already have lower turnouts in Moffat County, but 2021’s turnout numbers show just a very small dip than what was seen in the election two years ago. In 2019, 51.2% of voters visited polls to vote on various ballot measures — including the decision to allow recreational marijuana dispensaries to operate in Craig — for a total of 4,093 ballots.
In 2017, the trend was the same. Only 3,607 ballots were counted in that election, which featured five seats open on the school board, a close decision to increase sales tax and a mill levy increase from the Moffat County College Board that was voted down. In 2015, 3,295 Moffat County residents voted to create a local marketing district, decide on four school board positions and to allow the city of Craig to provide broadband services.
Even number years, however, end up with higher turnouts, especially presidential election years. In 2020, 73% of all registered voters in the county cast ballots in the November general election, for a total of 7,074 ballots returned. In that election, 78.3% of Moffat County ballots voted for Donald Trump in the presidential decision, and 78.9% voted to have Lauren Boebert represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Moffat County voters in 2018 were still more active than in odd-number years, with 5,492 ballots cast for various elections like sheriff and school board. Just like 2020, 2016’s presidential election had a large turnout, with 6,625 voters. Former President Donald Trump garnered 80% of Moffat County’s presidential votes, and Moffat County voters largely said no to Amendment T, an amendment to abolish involuntary servitude in the state of Colorado. Though it failed in 2016, Amendment T was reintroduced in 2018, where it passed in the state, but Moffat County voters were largely against it again.
Across Colorado, voter turnout lagged Tuesday. Around 3.8 million Coloradans were eligible to vote in county elections, and according to data from the Secretary of State’s office, just over 1.2 million votes were cast in the three statewide decisions, putting the state’s percentage at 32%. In those decisions — one of which would have raised marijuana taxes to be used for student enrichment programs — Coloradans voted down all three.
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It wouldn’t be a league event for Moffat County High School track and field athletes without bringing home some hardware, and the Bulldogs earned some metal last weekend.