As of this morning, a total of 690,886 Coloradans had returned their ballots with 27,951 unopened unaffiliated ballots, but the number of unopened packets swelled to 181,134 ballots by this afternoon, inching the total returned ballots over 800,000. We predict that when polls close tomorrow, the number of ballots cast could be over 1.2 million.
To put this huge number in perspective, the total votes cast in the 2014 election (the last off-year election) was 634,181 and, in 2010, there were 774,071 ballots cast. Of course, part of the bigger numbers this year is the higher population in Colorado as well as unaffiliateds who are returning ballots in big numbers. This is the first year unaffiliateds are automatically sent ballots and, as of this afternoon, just over 160,000 unaffiliated ballots have been returned, representing just over 23% of the total vote. That’s much higher than the estimates for unaffiliated voters.
Another big driver of record turnout is the contested primaries in both parties at all levels of elections. Welcome to the club, Democrats – we hope you hate it as much as we have.
We have been promised interesting numbers tomorrow, so we will update you early tomorrow with new numbers. If you’re a candidate, you had been better hope that your GOTV effort included outreach to unaffiliateds because they have the potential to really move these races.