DENVER (KDVR) — Time is running out for Denver voters to cast their ballots in the 2023 municipal election.  

The latest data from the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office shows about 20% of registered voters in Denver have turned in their ballots, still lagging behind compared to years past.

Lucille Wenegieme, with the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office, said overall turnout is often driven by the topics and candidates on the ballot.   

“Right now, we are seeing the turnout is lagging behind past municipal elections,” Wenegieme said. “We’re hoping we see a last-minute dump here.” 

This year there are 17 candidates on the ballot vying for city mayor, although one candidate, Kwame Spearman, has dropped out. 

“One of the reasons that we think voters may have a little bit of apprehension here is due to decision fatigue,” Wenegieme said. “There’s lots of candidates in quite a few of the races.” 

Each election, voters ‘make a day of it’

Since moving downtown, Richard and Tommi Himmel said they walk to the ballot drop box outside the Denver Elections Division in Denver every voting cycle. 

“It’s a nice walk down here to the drop-off point, so we make a day of it,” Richard said. “You’re voting for the people that directly affect your life on a daily basis. It’s really a shame people don’t take more seriously the local elections.”

The Himmels said they pay attention and vote because they want their voices heard. 

“A major issue for me is the homeless campouts on the streets. It’s inhumane to them and it does absolutely nothing good for property values,” Tommi said. “I just want to say pay attention and vote because those people affect the lives of Denver residents.”

Wenegieme said turnout ahead of Election Day is not a reliable predictor of overall voter turnout.

“Colorado voters in general tend to wait until the last Monday and Tuesday to cast their ballots, and Denver voters are no exception, so we’re still really hoping that folks find their ballot, bring it to us and make it happen,” Wenegieme said. 

Denver voters have until 7 p.m. on April 4 to cast their vote. The city has 43 drop-off locations open 24/7, as well as 10 voting centers. 

For more voter information, click here. Voters can also watch a 24-hour live stream of the ballot counting and processing. 

Ballots for the anticipated runoff election on June 6 will be issued on May 16.