Coloradans vote in midterm primaries

DENVER — It’s primary day in Colorado. It’s the first one in which unaffiliated voters, the state’s largest voting bloc, can participate without having to affiliate with one or the other of the major parties. A voter-passed 2016 initiative allows them to do so.

See live election results here.

7 p.m.

Polls have closed in Colorado’s midterm primaries, and elections officials report a strong preliminary turnout.

Voters had until 7 p.m. to deliver their primary ballots to elections offices and ballot drop-off centers.

Tuesday’s primary was the first in which Colorado’s unaffiliated voters could participate in either the Democratic of the Republican party primary.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office says more than 983,000 Coloradans voted. That’s roughly 30 percent of active voters — and it’s a preliminary count.

Democrats cast 385,470 ballots, Republicans 362,590 ballots, and unaffiliated voters 235,643 ballots.

In 2016, 21 percent of active voters participated in the primary.

12:50 p.m.

We’ll continue to update this page with the latest on the primary races.

The results of the primary election in one western Colorado county could be delayed until Thursday or Friday.

Election officials say Montrose County ballots will have to be counted by hand because of a problem with the barcodes printed on them.

The announcement from the county says ballots will be counted in batches of 25 by a three-person bipartisan team. County election staff and staff from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office will participate.

The largely Republican county has about 27,000 eligible voters, less than 1 percent of the state’s total. As of Tuesday morning, about 8,600 had voted.

11:20 a.m.

Over 830,000 Colorado voters have turned in their ballots in the primary election as of Tuesday morning.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams says he expects a total of 900,000 or even 1 million ballots to be cast when the election ends at 7 p.m.

So far, Williams’ office says 324,206 ballots have been cast by Democrats, 311,329 by Republicans and 198,130 by unaffiliated voters.

The state has 3.8 million people eligible to vote.

A voter-passed initiative in 2016 allows Colorado’s 1.2 million active independent voters, the state’s largest voting bloc, to cast ballots in either the Democratic or Republican races but not both.

9:55 a.m.

It’s the last day for Colorado voters to have their say on who should represent the Republican and Democratic parties in this year’s political races, including the one to succeed term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The state’s first primary election to include independent voters wraps up at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Voters are still dropping off their mail-in ballots on foot, by car and bike at voting locations around the state since it’s too late to actually drop it in the mail.

A voter-passed initiative in 2016 allows Colorado’s 1.2 million active independent voters, the state’s largest voting bloc, to cast ballots in either the Democratic or Republican races but not both.

1:25 a.m.

The race to succeed Colorado’s term-limited governor, Democrat John Hickenlooper, tops the state’s mid-term primaries on Tuesday.

Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, generally offer stands on schools, health care and energy to the left of the centrist Hickenlooper. Republicans, including Treasurer Walker Stapleton, hope to take a governor’s office they haven’t held since 2007.

Republicans and Democrats offered starkly different post-Hickenlooper visions for Colorado’s role — or resistance — in implementing Trump administration policies on immigration, the environment, taxes and health care.

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