Voter turnout low ahead of city municipal election

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Colorado Springs municipal election is now just 8 days away as the April 4 election draws near.

About 261,000 ballots were mailed out on March 10 to registered voters who have until 7 p.m. next Tuesday to turn the ballots in.

“It’s a little low, quite honestly,” said Sarah Johnson, the City Clerk of Colorado Springs.

Voter turnout might be low but it’s not unusual for an off-cycle April election.

“It’s a little bit lower turnout than your November,” Johnson said. “Your November elections tend to be huge because generally you have more candidates that are driving those elections.”

In an attempt to boost voter turnout, the city utilizes local media, advertisements and non-partisan groups but even then a lot of the work is done by the district candidates themselves.

“It’s mostly door to door, mailers, those kinds of things,” said Johnson. “So it’s tougher because it’s more expensive to do big city wide TV advertising so it is harder to get the voter interest and that’s why you tend to see a little lower turnout in these districts.”

Right now Districts 4 and 6 have the lowest voter turnout in the city, a surprising fact given District 6 has the most candidates running.

“It is a little bit surprising that that district with four candidates, like you said, has the biggest number of candidates, that they just haven’t returned their ballots yet,” Johnson said. “It is quite interesting.”

Keep in mind a municipal election means it’s only for voters who live within the corporate limits of the city.

“There’s pockets around the city that are still in the county,” Johnson said. “They’ve not been annexed in and so you need to double check if you haven’t got a ballot that maybe you don’t reside in the city.”

Roughly 40,000 ballots have been returned so far but the city says they would like to see more.

“We have over 45 election judges who are helping us process and they would like some ballots to actually process,” said Johnson.

Registered voters have up until 7 p.m. the night of the election to turn ballots in.

 >> Click here for a list of ballot drop-off locations.

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