Primary turnout nears record in state

Most counties in Colorado are holding all-mail elections

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— Competitive primary elections could spur a larger voter turnout than Colorado has seen in years, leading county election officials to encourage voters to get their ballots in early to avoid delayed results Tuesday night.

Most counties — 46 of 64 — are holding all-mail elections. As of Wednesday, 436,382 Coloradans had voted: 222,938 were Republicans, and 210,201 were Democrats, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. About 1.5 million mail ballots went out across the state.

Although there are just a few days left to vote, many counties are reporting that voter turnout already has surpassed the 2006 and 2008 primaries.

Routt County has more than doubled the primary turnout from 2006, Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said Tuesday.

One reason for the high turnout may be that it’s the first time in 36 years that Colorado has two contested primaries for the U.S. Senate and one for governor.

Jane Norton, a former lieutenant governor, faces Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck for the GOP nomination for senator. Democrats Andrew Romanoff, a former state House speaker, and incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet are vying for their party’s support.

GOP voters will determine whether Scott McInnis, a former congressman, or Evergreen businessman Dan Maes emerges as the gubernatorial candidate in a three-way race against Democrat John Hickenlooper and former Republican Tom Tancredo, who is running with the American Constitution Party.

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