Low voter turnout so far for Tuesday’s Denver election

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DENVER — As of Monday morning, around 75,000 Denver voters had turned in their ballots. 250,000 Denver voters have not.

The low voter turnout is somewhat expected. It’s May and it’s an off-year election.

“As usual, we see Denver voters are trending toward Election Day,” said Alton Dillard, a spokesman with the Denver Elections Division.

Dillard said the anticipated turnout is around 25-30 percent.

However, the low numbers do create uncertainty as to how the results might go.

Denver voters will decide on the future of homeless rights, legalization magic mushrooms, and the next mayor. Voters will also decide on City Council representation.

Of the six candidates running for mayor, four are considered major candidates: Lisa Calderon, Jamie Giellis and Penfield Tate are the main challengers to incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock.

Hancock, who is seeking a third term and is ahead in the polls, will need 50 percent of the vote, plus one, to avoid a runoff.

“The question is: Does low turnout impact Michael Hancock? That’s the real question. There hasn’t been a lot of oxygen in the race,” FOX31 political analyst Matt Moseley said.

Mosely said the lack of interest could signal Denver voters are content with the status quo — or it could mean only the challengers have enthusiasm.

Hancock faced a runoff election when he was first elected in 2011 but not in 2015.

“It’s more likely that Hancock would have a run-off than not, so if he does have a runoff, it’s not necessarily a sign of weakness or defeat,” Mosely said.

It is too late to mail a ballot, but they can be dropped off at one of many 24-hour ballot boxes around the city until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

A Problem Solvers Guide to the Denver Election is available here.

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