Younger voters lag behind in mailing back Colorado ballots

Voters under 40 return just 12% of ballots so far
Younger voters lag behind in mailing back Colorado ballots
Posted at 5:04 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 19:04:24-04

DENVER – Colorado voters under 40 have returned just a fraction of their mail-in ballots for the upcoming election when compared to older voters, according to new numbers out Wednesday from the secretary of state.

As of 7:40 Wednesday morning, 174,539 Coloradans had already returned their ballots, most of which were mailed out last week. That number grew exponentially from the approximately 36,000 who had returned ballots as of Monday.

But only 12 percent of the ballots returned so far have come from voters under age 40, and voters aged 18-25 have returned only 2.7 percent of the total number of ballots.

On the contrary, voters over age 71 have returned the most ballots thus far: 30.6 percent have come from that group. Slightly fewer (29.6 percent) have been returned from voters aged 61-70.

The secretary of state’s office and U.S. Postal Service are asking anyone who will be mailing their ballot back to their county clerk to do so by Oct. 31.

Six counties won’t have an election this year – Cheyenne, Dolores, Grand Hinsdale, Mineral and Washington counties – and people in those counties won’t be receiving ballots, as there are no contested races or local bond measures on which to vote.

But approximately 50,000 Arapahoe County voters won’t receive a ballot this year because they don’t live in a coordinating jurisdiction, nor will approximately 10,000 Adams County voters in the same situation, according to the Arapahoe County Elections Division.

There will also be no statewide ballot issues this year for the first time since 2009, as odd years are usually used to send TABOR matters to voters.

In Denver, voters will be deciding on four Denver Public Schools directors, an initiative that would force new large buildings to install green roofs (which the mayor and city council oppose), and a $937 million general obligation bond package that centers on transportation and mobility.

In Denver, the Elections Division Voter Service and Polling Center opened Monday, while all polling centers open next Monday, Oct. 30.

The city also has 26 ballot drop-boxes that are open 24 hours a day. Find those and polling centers on a map by clicking here.

If you’re mailing your ballot back in Denver, you can sign up for Ballot Trace to be sure your ballot makes it back to your county clerk in time to be counted.

Colorado voters can register online and at polling centers any day, even on Election Day. You can do so by clicking here.

But if you register online or update your registration, you might not get a ballot mailed to you and could have to vote in person.

If you’re mailing your ballot back, it must be in the hands of your county clerk by 7 p.m. on Election Day, which is set for Nov. 7.

Voters are advised to have it in the mail before Oct. 31 to ensure it arrives on time.