Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Voter turnout falls under 36%

The official voter turnout in Colorado's 2015 "off year" election was 35.7 percent, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced last week.

The Nov. 3 election featured one statewide ballot measure, on marijuana taxes, a school board recall in the Jefferson County School District and various other races and issues.

The statewide voter registration system shows that of Colorado's 3,513,1688 voters, 1,241,055 voted by mail ballot, while another 13,115 voted in person.

"The single biggest factor in turnout is the candidates and issues that are on the ballot," Williams said. "That's why we anticipate a higher turnout in 2016, which is a presidential election year."

The turnout this year is less than in the last coordinated election, in 2013, when 46.2 percent of Coloradans voted in the first state-mandated mail-ballot election. On the ballot that year was Amendment 66, a controversial $950 million tax hike for education that was overwhelmingly defeated.


The statewide measure on this year's ballot, Proposition BB, passed overwhelmingly with voters deciding to spend marijuana taxes on school construction and other programs, rather than return the money to growers and Coloradans.  The measure was put on the ballot by a bi-partisan group of lawmakers.

In the Jefferson County School District, voters recalled three "reform" board members who were elected in 2013. The turnout in Jefferson County this election was 45.4 percent, compared with Jeffco's 43.5 percent in 2013.

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