Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell reported that through Nov. 4, a total of 7684 ballots have been returned, including 57 people who voted in person. That represents 58 percent of the county’s total of 13,245 registered voters have voted prior to the Nov. 6 general election day.
“I still feel optimistic that another 3000 votes will come in over the next two days,” said Mitchell. “We also have property owner ballots coming in from all over the state that need their own process.”
Mail ballots returned broken out by voter registration:
Registered Republicans 2717
Registered Democrats 2332
Unaffiliated voters 2545
Minor parties 33
Voted in person 57
Mitchell cautioned voters that her office still has no estimate of when they will be finished counting ballots on election night. She said that the county will stop tabulating/scanning ballots around 5:00 p.m. On Tuesday and upload those partial results shortly after 7:00 p.m. “Then we’ll wait for Judges to bring in the ballots from Poncha and Buena Vista, and process all the ballots that were dropped off until 7 p.m. Really, the earlier voters vote over the next two days will determine what percent we post at 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.”
The voting public should also remember that if a particular race is extremely close, it is possible that the final election results will not be known until 10 days after the election. This can be caused by ballot rejection due to a missing or discrepant signature. Mitchel said that in those cases,the voters are sent a letter giving them eight days for them to cure their ballot and confirm their signatures. To make sure to maintain voter anonymity, county clerk’s offices routinely hold back around 25 ballots to run with the cure signature recipients.
The county had 13,245 active registered voters as of Oct. 25; the largest segment identifying as unaffiliated voters:
Democrats 3501 26.50%
Republicans 4390 33.1
Unaffiliated voters 5180 39.1
Minor parties 174 1.3