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Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell reports that a total of 6,033 mail ballots have been returned as of Nov. 1. This represents 44 percent of the county’s 13,385 registered voters.

More than 1.1 million early ballots have been returned across Colorado, representing a 33-percent return rate. While early voting in Chaffee County appears to be at higher numbers than the rest of the state, the Clerk and Recorder’s Office would like people to continue to make an effort to vote early as the county is lagging significantly below 2014 early-voting action. Whether due to procrastination, overall enthusiasm levels, or simply busy voters working more than one job, the reasons aren’t known.

A total of 734 ballots were returned on Nov. 1, and in-person voting now totals 37 people.
Ballot returns break out:
Registered Republicans                2,123
Registered Democrats                   1,881
Unaffiliated voters                         1,960
Minor parties                                      69
Total                                                 6,033

Mitchell says that in comparison, by this time in 2014, more Chaffee County registered voters of both major parties and unaffiliated voters had voted:
Ballots returned                   2018 %                2014 %
Registered Republicans          48%                      76%
Registered Democrats              53                        74
Unaffiliated voters                    37                        55

“We all love early returns on election night,” said Mitchell. “But we won’t have early returns if we don’t get some more early voters. Both vote centers in Salida and Buena Vista will be open this Saturday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to noon. A vote center will be open at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds in Poncha Springs on election day. Our three vote centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.”

Chaffee County voter records show the following active voter counts:
Republican         4,424
Democrat            3,541
Unaffiliated        5,239
Minor party          181
Total                 13,385