Monday, November 23, 2020

Colorado sees record breaking voter turnout, 24 times the rate of 2016

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There has been a surge in the number of ballots returned in Colorado during the first week of early voting, with more than 430,000 votes cast, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold took to Twitter to announce that the number of ballots cast has outstripped this period of time during the 2016 presidential election by a factor of 24.

“Colorado is seeing record turnout,” Griswold said Thursday. “As of yesterday, over 300,000 Coloradans have voted, which is 24 times more than at this point in 2016.”

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As of Friday that figure had increased by over 130,000 votes, totaling 436,443 ballots received.

Democrats have been quick to submit their ballots with more than 198,000 votes cast, while Republicans have submitted just over 87,000 votes so far, according to state records.

Colorado has used universal mail-in voting since 2013, meaning the recent surge is not a result of increased requests by Coloradans for mail-in ballots, due to the coronavirus pandemic as all registered voters receive a mail-in ballot automatically.

But during the 2016 presidential race, Colorado had only received 42,416 returned ballots with 19 days left until the Nov. 3 election, a spokesperson confirmed for Fox News Friday.

Although Democrats still exceeded Republicans in the number of mail-in ballots submitted in 2016, the split was far closer with 18,919 Democratic ballots returned, and 12,611 Republican ballots received by this time in the last presidential cycle.

Colorado does allow election-day voting at polling stations on Nov. 3, but there will likely be less in-person voters than during previous years due to the pandemic.

 A spokesperson with the Secretary of State’s office told Fox News that they had “record-breaking turnout” during the June primaries through their mail-in voting system.

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A reported 99.3 percent of voters submitted their ballots through the mail for this year’s primaries, and only .7 percent of Coloradans voted in person.

President Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail-in voting will lead to voter fraud, though election officials in Colorado rely on a signature verification program, making a fraudulent ballot unlikely.

If a ballot’s signature does not match the previous signature that the state has on record, it will be flagged. But an unwanted result of the signature verification program is younger voters, who have less signatures in the system for comparison, so they are more likely to have their ballots flagged, Griswold explained to Fox News.

The secretary of state has launched a smartphone based solution to address this issue, known as TXT2Cure, which allows younger voters the ability to quickly address their ballots issues.

“Overall, our signature discrepancy rates are extremely low, they’re the lowest in the nation, but they are a lot higher for younger people,” Griswold told Fox News.

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“As the youngest secretary of state in the nation, I’m dedicated to doing everything in my power to make sure that every vote counts, especially rolling out technology that we think younger people will find more acceptable,” she added.

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