Municipal election turnout not significantly impacted by coronavirus shutdown in Summit County
Despite health concerns associated with COVID-19, Tuesday’s municipal elections did not suffer in turnout numbers. Since the elections were primarily done by mail-in or drop-off ballots, there was minimal contact throughout the voting process.
In 2020, Breckenridge received ballots from about 31% of registered voters compared with 27% in 2016. While Blue River saw 20 more ballots returned in 2020 versus 2018, due to an increase in registered voters, overall turnout went from 25% down to about 23%. Frisco reported an election turnout of about 28% for 2020. In 2018, Frisco saw about a 35% turnout rate.
To keep election judges healthy, additional social distancing and sanitation measures were put in place. Breckenridge Town Clerk Helen Cospolich reported that judges were spread out in a large room, wore provided gloves and masks and used hand sanitizer and wipes throughout the day. Different parts of the vote-counting process took place in different rooms to ensure adequate spacing.
“Maintaining the physical spacing of the judges was important, but it meant that moving ballots through the process took a little longer than normal,” Cospolich wrote in an email. “Safety and accuracy were our top priorities.”
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