Monday was the first day that county clerks could mail ballots to in-state voters, which made for interesting visits when Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams stopped in Jackson and Grand counties that day.
The number of active voters in scenic Jackson County is only 983, which is why they hand count their ballots, Clerk Hayle Johnson said.
The secretary then headed south to equally beautiful Grand County, where Clerk Sara Rosene, her staff and election judges loaded boxes filled with ballots into two large county vehicles in a race to get them to the Post Office.
“As someone who used to be a clerk and recorder, I know the work that goes into getting ballots to the voters,” said Williams, who worked in El Paso County before being elected secretary of state in 2014.
All clerks in Colorado are mailing a record number of ballots for this election because it’s the first time in history unaffiliated voters can automatically participate in the primary elections. In the past, those voters did not receive primary ballots unless they affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic party.
The number of active Republican and unaffiliated voters in Grand is nearly the same, 4,299 to 4,148, respectively, with Democrats trailing at 2,415 voters. But Republicans rule the roost in Jackson, with 677 active GOP voters, while there are 196 unaffiliated voters and 99 Democrats. Both counties have small numbers of third-party voters, who won’t be participating in the primary because they have no contested races.