Initial ballot return numbers show strong effect on Colorado outcome made by unaffiliated voters

Posted at 2:52 PM, Nov 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-10 02:22:14-05

DENVER – Though ballots are still being counted in Colorado and final tallies won’t be known for several weeks, data released Wednesday by the Secretary of State’s Office give some insight into how powerful the unaffiliated vote was in the state’s presidential election.

Colorado went to Hillary Clinton – the current tally shows her receiving 47 percent of the vote compared to 44.8 percent for Donald Trump, who won the presidency in the election.

But Colorado voters went for third-party candidates in a trend that bucks voting numbers by party.

Libertarian Gary Johnson drew 5 percent of the vote; initial numbers Wednesday showed him getting more than 120,000 votes, despite only 27,618 ballots being cast by registered Libertarians.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein drew 1.2 percent of the vote, though the 30,000 votes tallied for Stein far outweigh the 8,000 ballots submitted by voters registered with the Green Party.

And Evan McMullin, who announced his candidacy just three months before Election Day, garnered 1 percent of Colorado’s vote as well. Initial numbers posted Wednesday show he got at least 25,000 votes.

Currently, the easiest way to calculate turnout is to divide the total number of ballots cast by the total number of active and inactive registered voters in Colorado. Denver7 had been comparing numbers to the number of active registered voters as of Nov. 1 in earlier stories on ballot returns.

The Secretary of State’s Office told Denver7 Wednesday afternoon that number currently sits at 3,840,159. The voting numbers released Wednesday morning show 2,610,897 ballots have been counted so far – putting “voter turnout” so far at 68 percent.

In the 2012 presidential election, final turnout was 71 percent.

Republicans still have the percentage lead in the total vote, at 34.1 percent. Democrats sit second at 32.8 percent and unaffiliated voters are third at 31.5 percent.

Those numbers sit opposite to party registration numbers released Nov. 1 that show unaffiliated voters are the largest electorate in the state, followed by Democrats, then Republicans.

The final voter turnout in Colorado likely won’t be known for weeks as ballots continue to be counted. Denver7 will continue to update voter turnout numbers as they come in.


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