With over 10,000 ballots cast, 2021 election turnout was high compared to previous odd-year elections | SummitDaily.com

With over 10,000 ballots cast, 2021 election turnout was high compared to previous odd-year elections

A voter walks out of Silverthorne Pavilion after casting his ballot Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

By 11:10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, 10,039 Summit County ballots had been counted, making the turnout for the 2021 election about 46% of active voters. In total, there are 22,044 active voters in Summit County.

Summit County Clerk and Recorder Kathleen Neel reported that the majority of ballots — 8,924 — were mailed. There were 259 ballots cast in-person. Property owner ballots were also cast for the Summit Fire & EMS tax increase.

The majority of mail-in voters — 44% — were unaffiliated. Democratic voters made up 35% of the vote, Republican voters made up 20%, Libertarian voters made up 0.6% and the remaining voters were registered as members of the American Constitution, Approval Voting, Green and Unity parties.

While odd-year election turnout is unsurprisingly low in comparison to national elections, 2021 turnout was high in comparison to other odd-year elections.

In 2015, 6,587 people voted in Summit County, according to Neel. In 2017, voter turnout dipped to 4,837 and then shot up in 2019 to nearly 9,000. Neel previously attributed increasing voter turnout in Summit County to the convenience of mail-in ballots, which became available after a state law was passed in 2013.

While the vast majority of ballots were counted on election night, the results will not be finalized for a few days.

“In Colorado, county clerks process ballots prior to Election Day, which enables a high percentage of results to be reported on election night. But election night results are never final results,” Secretary of State Jena Griswold wrote in a news release. “In the days after Election Day, military and oversees voters return their ballots, signature discrepancies can be fixed, and bipartisan audits are conducted to determine statistical confidence in the results.”

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