Colorado voter turnout dips in 2022 midterm, initial numbers show
Colorado no longer ranks at the top in the nation for voter turnout.
Driving the news: Turnout dipped to 58.5% of the voting-eligible population in the 2022 midterm election, a preliminary analysis by the U.S. Elections Project shows.
- Colorado ranked sixth in the nation, behind Maine (61.4%), Minnesota (61%), Oregon (60.9%), Wisconsin (60.2%) and Michigan (59%).
Flashback: In 2020 and 2018, Colorado landed a close second behind Minnesota in terms of ballots cast. The prior midterm turnout hit 61.4%, the project's research shows.
Why it matters: Turnout is an important metric because it shows voter enthusiasm for the candidates and issues on the ballot, and serves as a measure to evaluate elected county clerks and the secretary of state who oversee voting.
- Also, the number is often a point of pride among states.
- If preliminary results hold, 2022's tally would mark the first decline in the state's midterm turnout in 20 years.
Between the lines: The denominator is important in this discussion. The Elections Project uses a voter-eligible population, calculated using census figures, rather than actual registered voters, which is what local officials compute.
- The state also presents "active voters" — only those that receive mail ballots — which inflates the turnout rate.
By the numbers: Among the 4.4 million registered voters in Colorado, the turnout rate lands at a similar 58%, according to state figures.
- An estimated 24,000 additional ballots were cast but rejected.
- The largest voting bloc this year was women aged 55 to 64, followed by women aged 65 to 74 and men aged 55 to 64.
- Small counties, many in the hotly contested 3rd Congressional District, led the state with turnout. Denver's turnout landed at 62%.
Of note: The candidate that received the most votes in the state is Democratic Gov. Jared Polis at 1,468,463 votes, or 58% support, unofficial state numbers show.
- The highest Republican vote-getter on the midterm ballot was John Kellner in the attorney general race. He lost to Democratic incumbent Phil Weiser, but received 1,060,856 votes, or 43%.
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