More than 900 Coloradans signed up to vote one week ago today, National Voter Registration Day, and almost half of them chose to be unaffiliated.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his deputy, Suzanne Staiert, made media appearances as part of NVRD and some election offices, such as Arapahoe, El Paso and Denver counties, hosted registration events.
In all, 953 people registered to vote in Colorado on Sept. 26, according to Secretary of State data released Monday. Of that, 454 registered as unaffiliated, 285 as Democrat, 190 as Republican and the rest were third-party members. The five top counties with the most registrants were:
El Paso: 139
In addition, Boulder County registered 63 people and Adams and Douglas counties each registered 61.
The National Association of Secretaries of State in 2012 designated September as National Voter Registration Month with the fourth Tuesday in September set as National Voter Registration Day to encourage voter participation and increase awareness about state requirements and deadlines for voting.
In Arapahoe County, Clerk Matt Crane and elections director Jennifer Morrell developed a social media and targeted mail campaign to encourage voters to update their registration so they will receive mail ballots. From Sept. 26 through Monday, the office processed 1,571 registration updates — almost twice the number of updates the office usually handles in a week.
Morrell realized the success of the program when she took a Lyft from Littleton to Denver, and the driver asked what she did. The driver then relayed she had moved back to Colorado from California, and would never have thought to update her voter registration if she hadn’t gotten the letter.
“I thought that was super cool,” Morrell said.
Colorado boasts the highest percentage of registered voters in America among its eligible population. In addition, the turnout among registered voters in Colorado in the 2016 presidential election was 74.5 percent, the fourth highest in the nation, with 2.9 million voters casting ballots.
Colorado Secretary of State efforts to boost voter registration include:
Text to vote. Eligible Coloradans can simply text the word “Colorado” or “CO” to “2Vote” (28683) on their smartphones, and then open the link to the SOS online voter registration and election information site.
Online registration. Colorado in 2010 became the fourth state to allow online voter registration and www.govotecolorado.com has processed more than 1.9 million transactions.
High School registration. The office hands out the Eliza Pickrell Routt award to high schools where at least 85 percent of eligible seniors have registered or preregistered to vote.
In addition, Colorado allows for same-day voter registration.