Montezuma County reported high turnout for the 2018 midterm elections, according to the Colorado secretary of state and the Montezuma County clerk.
After polls closed, 11,864 ballots had been returned, up from 8,255 ballots turned in by Monday, said Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell. At midnight, about 1,400 ballots remained to be counted, and final unofficial results came in at 2 a.m.
In the 2014 midterm election, about 9,000 ballots were returned.
“Voter turnout was astronomical,” Percell said. “It is exciting and encouraging to see this level of public participation.”
There are 19,861 registered voters in the county, meaning that after polls closed, voter participation was at 60 percent. When calculated for the 16,410 active registered voters in the county who voted in the previous election, voter participation jumps to 72 percent.
Statewide, the Colorado secretary of state reported that more than 2.4 million ballots had been returned, and turnout was more than 50 percent. In 2014, more than 2.05 million Coloradans voted.
La Plata County voters cast 28,523 ballots Tuesday, setting what is believed to be a record midterm turnout of 62 percent.
Dolores County cast 1,200 ballots Tuesday, for a turnout of 68.8 percent. The county has 1,742 registered voters.
Election officials at the Montezuma County Clerk’s Office said Election Day was “very busy” as staff tried to keep up with processing ballots. Nearly 1,000 came in between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day, Percell said.
At 6 p.m., election officials were bringing in ballots from drop boxes around the county, and helping a half-dozen voters who needed a ballot. People were turning in ballots all the way up to 7 p.m.
Of the 16,410 active registered voters in Montezuma County, 7,331 are Republican, 3,527 are Democrats, and 5,552 are unaffiliated.