Preliminary numbers show high turnout in primary voting

Summit County Clerks and bipartisan election judges will be processing ballots at the county office through the night of June 28.
Luke Vidic/Summit Daily News

Early polling numbers show a potential for increased turnout in this year’s primary. The last time the county held a June primary was 2018, and 5,741 people cast a ballot. This year, the county could be on track for more than 7,000 ballots.

County officials said they’re happy to talk about the county’s vote processing procedures with the public. Summit County Chief Deputy Clerk Stacey Nell said residents had raised very few concerns about the county’s election security, but if any more questions come up, she and her team would be happy to answer.

“We’ve love talking about it,” she said. “We’re election nerds.”

She said her office processed 2,130 ballots as of Wednesday morning. She said about 1,600 ballots were processed Monday alone. Monday’s preliminary number was “huge,” Nell Said.

If Monday and Tuesday’s rate continued through all seven days of tabulating, the total could approach 7,500 votes.

Of the 2,130 ballots returned, 889 were Democratic, 772 were Republican and 469 were unaffiliated. The Clerk’s Office said 35 ballots had been rejected. Signature discrepancies accounted for eight, four were missing signatures and 23 unaffiliated voters returned two ballots. Unaffiliated voters received both a Republican and Democratic ballot but may only fill out one of them.

Summit County has 21,506 active voters as of Wednesday, according to the Summit County Clerk’s Office. Of those, 11,237 are unaffiliated, 6,694 are Democratic, 3,559 are Republican and 416 associate with other minor parties, the Clerk’s Office reported.

The last time Summit County held a June midterm primary election was 2018. Then, 5,740 people cast a ballot and Summit County had 19,427 registered voters at the time. That was the first year unaffiliated voters could receive both a Republican and Democratic vote after voters approved the Unaffiliated Elector Initiative, or Proposition 108, in 2016.

In the 2020 June primary election, the county was under the veil of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that election, 8,212 people cast a ballot and Summit County had 20,034 active registered voters at the time. It was also a presidential election year.

Nell said only a couple of questions about Summit County’s voting security had been raised recently. One resident asked about the security of dropboxes, and another asked about the Dominion voting system. In response, she said the county’s vote counting machines do not connect to the internet and all the county’s dropboxes are under 24/7 video surveillance.

A bipartisan team of election judges join employees of the Clerk’s Office in processing ballots. Many judges have years of experience under their belt, Nell said. Judges are responsible for verifying signatures on ballots, 

The winning candidates in each party’s primary election will appear on the November general election ballot, along with any qualifying unaffiliated and write-in candidates.

How to cast your ballot

The county will accept ballots until 7 p.m. on June 28. Voters can deliver ballots to any of the county’s drop boxes, or they can vote in person at certain locations.

If a voter doesn’t have their ballot, they can head into the early voter service polling center, open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. There, voters can receive a replacement ballot or vote.  They will need to show valid ID such as a Colorado drivers license or passport, in either case.

Colorado has same-day voter registration. Voters can register and cast a ballot until 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters who have not mailed their ballots yet are encouraged to drop them off in person. All ballots must be received by June 28 at 7 p.m., regardless of post mark date.

The county has five secure ballot drop boxes located throughout the county. They’re located at the Dillon Town Hall, 275 Lake Dillon Drive, Dillon; the Frisco Town Hall, 1 Main St., Frisco; Summit County North Branch Library, 651 Center Circle, Silverthorne; Summit County Main Branch Library, County Commons, 0037 Peak One Drive, Frisco; and Summit County Courthouse, 208 East Lincoln Ave., Breckenridge.

In person voting is still available at Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center and Summit County South Branch Library at 103 South Harris St. in Breckenridge until Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon and Monday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.


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