DENVER (KDVR) — Turnout is lower than normal for Denver’s municipal election, when voters will decide on their first new mayor in 12 years.

Just about 13% of active Denver voters had cast a ballot by Friday evening, according to a release from the Clerk and Recorder’s Office. City elections data show the number lags behind participation levels at this point in the last three elections.

Still, the city said that’s not necessarily an indicator of overall turnout.

“Voters across Colorado tend to return their ballots on the final days preceding the
election, and the trend holds for Denver voters, especially since the pandemic,” the release reads.

What affects voter turnout in Denver?

The city said the topics and candidates can have an impact on voter turnout, pointing to the 2019 election where voters decriminalized psilocybin. Denver saw an “unusually high turnout for a local election” that cycle.

In this election, voters will choose from among 17 mayoral candidates to replace term-limited Mayor Michael Hancock, who’s served since 2011. Voters will also decide on three ballot measures, the councilmember for their district and a councilmember at large.

Tuesday is the last day to vote, and it’s too late to mail your ballot. They must be dropped off at a ballot box by 7 p.m. In-person voters must be in line by 7 p.m.

But the longer voters delay, the longer until the public gets the results, the Clerk and Recorder’s Office warned. The city said it has 300 elections workers “waiting for you to keep them busy.”

“And our word for the wise: if you wait, you wait,” Clerk and Recorder Paul D. López said in a statement. “We want a high turnout and participation, but if you wait to cast your ballot until Tuesday, you’ll be waiting past Tuesday night for results.”

Any race where no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote will go to a runoff, except for the council at-large contest — and a runoff is expected, at least for the heavily contested mayoral race. The date for that election is June 6.