Historic election, record voter turnout
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado Garfield County voters turned out in numbers not seen for more than two decades, according to the Garfield County Clerk and Recorders Office.The latest available statistics show that about 84 percent of the countys registered voters cast a ballot in this years election. That shatters the previous record of 70.2 percent, which was set in 2004. In that year, 20,508 out of 29,220 registered voters voted.Jean Alberico, Garfield County clerk and recorder, said the number of voters who went to the polls this year was at a level not seen in 20 to 25 years. However, it is well below the 95 percent the Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman had been predicting for the state, Alberico said.When voters went to polling places Tuesday morning, they faced long lines. But voters moved their way through the lines fairly quickly and things calmed down, with fewer people streaming in throughout the day.Things went smoothly today, Alberico said. Turnout was high in the morning, according to people who were at the polls Tuesday.I was in Carbondale and there had to have been 150 people waiting to vote when we first opened the polls, Alberico said. I dont think anybody waited more than 15 to 20 minutes at the most.Alberico called Tuesday a typical Election Day.Theres little fires that have to be put out everywhere, she said. We had big lines at every place when things opened up this morning. We had some issues with a couple pieces of equipment getting up and running.Jan Kaufman, an election judge at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, said there were three lines of 30 or 40 people each stretching around the front desk and out the door at the Community Center starting at 6:30 a.m. The lines were down and everyone moved through by around 8 a.m. about an hour after the polling places opened, she said.There were no lines at the polling location at about 4:30 p.m., leaving many poll watchers and election judges to stand around. At about 6 p.m., there was no one lining up to vote.Kaufman has been working the polls as an election judge for about 25 years. I have always felt that we really have only two responsibilities as citizens. One is voting, and the other is jury duty, she said. I take them very seriously, because both of them affect my life.
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