Unofficial final figures show nearly 2.6 million Coloradans voted during this year’s midterms

The figures gave Colorado the second-highest voter turnout in the country, behind only Minnesota.
2 min. read
Denver Elections judges Ernie DeSantis (left) and Henry McClain process a ballot the division’s downtown headquarters, Oct. 31, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A majority of the nearly 2.6 million Coloradans who cast ballots during the midterms — a whopping 95 percent — cast their ballots through the mail, while the state’s overall voter turnout was the second-highest in the country.

Final unofficial figures released Friday by the Secretary of State showed 2,585,944 ballots were cast and 2,574,748 ballots were counted. A majority of the untabulated ballots were ballots that weren’t “cured” due to signature problems.

“I’m extremely proud of our staff, our county clerks and our voters,” Secretary of State Wayne Williams said in a release. “We had a phenomenal election.”

Friday’s release said clerks had turned in results to the secretary’s office as late as 11:11 p.m. The results were due by Thursday at midnight. Final results weren’t available until Friday since cured ballots, provisional ballots and military and overseas ballots were still left to count.

The results show just how big the Democrats so-called blue wave was in Colorado, especially in the governor’s race: Jared Polis ended up beating Republican Walker Stapleton by 10.65 points. Among those carried out by the blue wave was Williams, who lost his reelection bid to Democrat Jena Griswold.

The final turnout figures by party affiliation, with unaffiliated voters leading the way:

  • Unaffiliated 880,025 (34.0 percent)
  • Democrats 851,006 (32.9 percent)
  • Republicans 814,779 (31.5 percent)
  • Other 40,134 (1.5 percent)

The Secretary of State’s office broke down the state’s turnout based on three denominators, and anyway you slice the numbers, they show pretty strong voter turnout:

  • By active voters: 75.5 percent (2,574,748 / 3,410,856)
  • By registered voters: 65.2 percent (2,574,748 / 3,946,475)
  • By voting eligible population: 62.7 percent (2,574,748 / 4,103,903)

Colorado trailed only Minnesota using voting-eligible populations figures, with Minnesota notching 64.3 percent turnout.

Only 5 percent of voters voted in person. It included 91,119 who voted on Election Day, with 120,949 total voting in person and 425 voting provisionally. Now that votes have been tabulated, the Secretary of State’s office will begin a risk-limiting audit to ensure ballots were accurately tabulated (which is why Friday’s figures are still technically ‘unofficial’).

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