Judging by the scene at voting locations accross Park County on Nov. 3, one might be misled into thinking there was very little interest at all in this year’s elections.
When polls opened Tuesday morning, there was no frantic rush of voters, and no long lines. In fact, there were no lines at all, as election officials at the Park County Sheriff’s Substation in Bailey stood by eagerly awaiting hordes of voters that simply never materialized.
Of the typical election day rush of 12,000-plus voters countywide, some 9,000 had already made their voices heard well before Nov. 3 via early voting.
Early voting also occurred in record volume nationally, as more than 122 million Americans cast their ballots prior to Nov. 3.
“The ballot boxes were full when we got here this morning,” said election judge Carlye Hart. “There were already 9,000 ballots turned in throughout the county by Saturday, Oct. 31.”
Presidential race still undecided as of Nov. 4
Unofficially, 12,033 Park County votes were cast in the presidential election, 6,864 of them in favor of Republican Donald Trump, and 4786 for Democratic challenger, Joseph Biden. Third party candidates, of which there were 19 on the ballot, accounted for 382 total votes in Park County.
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, there was still much to be determined in the presidential race with a swath of seven battleground states still deemed too close to call.
Trump held an advantage in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, while Biden maintained a slight edge in Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada.
The popular vote, as of 11 a.m. Nov. 4, stood at 68,620,472 (50.2%) for Biden, and 65,997,199 (48.3%) for Trump. Biden entered Wednesday with 227 electoral votes secured, with the president sitting at 213 of the 270 electoral votes required to win the United States presidency.
The final tabulation of votes in some of those battleground states, as of Wednesday morning, was expected to take several more days.
Elsner retains commissioners post in District 2
Locally, while all races still remain unofficial, there is little uncertainty as to the eventual outcome of the District 2 Park County Commissioner’s race. Republican and incumbent Richard Elsner received 7,002 votes, while Libertarian challenger Richie Frangiosa pulled just 3,716 of the 10,718 total votes recorded.
The Park County Ballot Question 1A concerning the annual adjustment of the county’s mill levy for the purpose of maintaining revenues that would be lost to statewide property tax assessment rate reductions has seemingly failed to pass by just 526 votes: 5,964 against the proposition, and 5,438 voting to approve.
Republicans sweep area-wide races, lose Senate race
The race for District Attorney in the 11th Judicial District went the way of Republican Linda Stanley (6,901) over Democrat Kaitlin Turner (4,680).
Republican Ron Hanks easily toppled Democrat Lori Boydston by a margin of 7,106 votes to 4,553 in the District 60 State Representative’s race.
Republican Charlie Winn (3,275) bested Democrat Joe Neguse (2,179) for the right to represent the 117th United States Congressional District 2, and Republican Doug Lamborn (3,469) defeated Democrat Jillian Freeland (2,273) in the 117th United States Congress District 5 contest.
John Hickenlooper provided a bright spot for Democrats statewide, outdueling Cory Gardner in the hotly-contested United States Senate race.
Colorado Ballot Measures
Amendment B, proposing the repeal of the Gallagher Amerndment, passed statewide with 57.6 percent of the vote. In Park County, 5,787 voted to approve the measure, while 5,728 voted against.
Park County voters rejected Amendment C regarding charitable gaming, 6,225-5,138. The measure passed statewide, however, with 51.7% of the vote.
Colorado voters opted to approve Amendment 76, stating one must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old to vote in an election. That measure passed with 62.7 percent of the statewide vote, and Park County voters seemed to concur, 8,701-3,120.
Amendment 77, regarding gaming limits, passed handily both at the state and county levels, as did Proposition EE, taxing cigarettes and vaping products,
Proposition 113, aligning Colorado with other states as part of an agreement to elect the president of the U.S. by national popular vote if enough states join the pact, also passed with 52.4% of the vote statewide. Interestingly, Park County voters rejected the measure, 6,781-4,981.
Proposition 114, regarding the reintroduction of gray wolves to the state, was razor-tight but passed 50.2%-49.8%. Park County voters also rejected that measure, 7,264-4,436.
Proposition 115, proposing to ban late-term abortions, was soundly rejected atatewide, 59.1%-40.9%, while also being rejected by park County voters, 6,187-5,518.
Propositions 116 (Income tax cut), 117 (New state enterprise requirement) and 118 (paid family and medical leave), also passed statewide. Park County voters were in step with voters statewide on Propositions 116 and 117, but voted 6,326-5,336 against Proposition 118.