Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Picture of Secretary of State Jena Griswold

×
Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

×
Colorado state seal

News Release

Media contact
303-860-6903

Betsy Hart
betsy.hart@sos.state.co.us

Steve Hurlbert
steve.hurlbert@sos.state.co.us

State of Colorado
Department of State

1700 Broadway
Suite 250
Denver, CO 80290

Jena Griswold
Secretary of State

Ian Rayder
Deputy Secretary of State

Colorado state seal

News Release

State of Colorado
Department of State

1700 Broadway
Suite 250
Denver, CO 80290

Jena Griswold
Secretary of State

Ian Rayder
Deputy Secretary of State

Media contact
303-860-6903
Betsy Hart - betsy.hart@sos.state.co.us
Steve Hurlbert - steve.hurlbert@sos.state.co.us

Colorado’s Record-Breaking State Primary Proves Vote-by-Mail Model is Successful

Turnout Shows Americans Can Have Accessible Elections Even in a Pandemic

Denver, July 1, 2020 – With ballots still being processed, it’s already evident that Colorado’s State Primary has been an overwhelming success. With a record-breaking 1,577,347 ballots returned to county election officials as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night, the 2020 state primary turnout is easily the largest of any state primary in Colorado’s history. Of all voted ballots, 99.3% were returned via mail or ballot drop box, illustrating the importance, and benefits, of conducting vote-by-mail elections during COVID-19. Turnout rate is already at 44.96% of active voters and will increase as more ballots are processed, as opposed to 37.63% for the State Primary held in 2018.

“In midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado just set a record turnout for a state primary. A total of 99.3% of voters cast a mail ballot, and there were not lengthy lines or wait times reported at in-person voting centers,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. “Despite misleading attacks, disinformation, and attempts to make vote-by-mail a partisan issue, Colorado’s election proves that mail ballots are the key to accessible voting during this health crisis.”

Colorado’s primary also shows both Democrats and Republicans enthusiastically embrace vote-by-mail, with 918,374 ballots returned for the Democratic Primary and 565,805 returned for the Republican Primary. Within each party’s primary, 99.4% of voters who participated in the Republican Primary returned their ballot by mail while 99.2% of voters who participated in the Democratic Primary did the same.

Turnout has far surpassed that of the 2018 state primary, in which 1,171,088 ballots were counted. In March’s Presidential Primary, which was the first Presidential Primary in 20 years and the first ever in which unaffiliated voters could receive a mail ballot, a total of 1,806,288 ballots were counted. Like in the 2020 State Primary, most voters in those primaries preferred to vote by mail, with mail ballots respectively accounting for 98.8% and 97.5% of ballots returned.

While Colorado has had a mail ballot model since 2013, the importance of voting by mail increased exponentially over the last three months. Voting by mail is the safest way to conduct an election during the COVID-19 health crisis because it encourages social distancing.

Colorado’s elections are the country’s gold standard, and Colorado will continue to work with other states to help expand mail ballots nationally. Mail ballots are the best way to vote during this pandemic.

Colorado’s 2020 State Primary record turnout will continue to increase as ballots are processed over the next eight days. Military and overseas ballots cast by 7 p.m. on Election Day will be counted up to July 8 when preliminary results will be finalized and the state’s Risk Limiting Audit will be conducted on July 10. All results will be official three weeks after the election.