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Fewer than a million votes were cast by noon on Election Day

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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado election leaders are hoping voters made their way to the ballot boxes before the 7 p.m. deadline.

As of noon, about 962,000 ballots had been returned. At 6 p.m., more than 1.2 million ballots were cast. Around 4 million voters are eligible to vote.

Although 2021 is an off-year, leaders said they have been working harder than before to make sure voters have accurate information.

“We tend to see lower turnout directly following a presidential election year,” Secretary of State Jena Griswold said.

Colorado off-year turnout reached 40% just once

In 2020, Colorado set a record with 3.2 million voters returning their ballots. While we knew there would not be as many voters this time around, fewer than a million voters got their ballots in by midday Election Day 2021.

“According to a recent analysis, in the past decade, state turnout reached only 40% once for an off-year election, compared with even-year elections that see upwards of 80% of voters casting a ballot,” Griswold said.

Some areas in the state saw decent turnout. Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul Lopez said numbers are looking better for the city than they did in 2019.

“For a Denver ballot that has 13 questions and school board members, we’re trending higher than what we usually are for a coordinated election,” Lopez said. “Knock on wood, that depends on everybody coming out to vote and that’s why we’re doing this: to make sure folks understand every single election matters.”

What brings voters to the ballot box?

Voters we spoke to say that’s exactly what brought them to the ballot box.

“There’s a lot of important measures on the ballot. Taxes and the homeless situation going on. I just think it’s important for everyone to get out and vote as much as they can and voice their opinions,” one said.

Others think the content on this year’s ballot is the reason why many didn’t return them.

“I mean, there was only like a couple of like big-ticket things, and they weren’t even really that big. So I don’t know, I feel like maybe people just like don’t care as much about the little things and there was a lot of voting yes or no on like different policy changes and stuff,” another voter said.

Leaders said they are waiting on final turnout numbers to see exactly what played a role in the 2021 voter turnout.

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