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In a county that has nearly always exceeded the voter turnout of the rest of the state, ballot returns in Chaffee County appear to be lagging a bit, after a good start. The county stands at a 35.2 percent return rate.

The reason isn’t known. It could simply be that we have some weighty issues on the ballot this year and people are taking their time to think about them. It could be that this is a midterm election and enthusiasm hasn’t kicked in yet.

It is a fact that the lowest rate of returns are from Republican voters, who may be waiting to turn in ballots on election day, November 8. The bright spot is that the rate of unaffiliated voter returns is higher than either the Republican or Democrat party returns — which may be a first. What that means, however, isn’t clear.

On Wednesday the Chaffee Clerk and Recorder’s Office received 656 mail ballots back, for a total of 5,444.
There were three in-person voters at the Scout Hut. Of the mail ballots returned, here is the breakdown by party:

Affiliation      %

Democrats     31.3%
Republicans    26.8%
Unaffiliated   40.7%

Affiliation      Registered voters     %    

Democrats        3,956                         43.1% have voted
Republicans      4,247                         34.3% have voted
Unaffiliated       7,250                         30.6% have voted

On Thursday, election judges are scheduled to work at 1:00 p.m. at both the Courthouse and the Chaffee County Fairgrounds.

Visit the Chaffee County Elections Office website at or for additional information on the 2022 Coordinated General Election.

Featured image: As the pumpkins declare, be sure to vote! As seen on F Street in Salida. AVV file photo.