Douglas County election: a test run for 2020

The commission prepares for the next three elections


Workers at the Douglas County election commission were able to kick their feet up and rest for a day the Friday following the Nov. 5 election thanks to success in what they considered a “test-run” for the 2020 election.

The commission reported that virtually all ballots were counted the night of the election, said Merlin Klotz, the county's clerk and recorder.

“Operationally it was a very good election,” he said. “It was as good as we've ever had.”

While things were speedy this year, he expects counting for next year's presidential election to bleed into the following days due to higher turnout.

“We will be scanning ballots Wednesday and even Thursday,” he said.

Klotz adds that the paper ballot system used in Colorado may be slower but it's much more secure than an electronic one.

This year's election was unique in that it precedes three coming in 2020: the Democratic primary, the state primary and the general election.

While this was a smaller election than the ones on tap next year, it allowed the commission to test out recent facility changes they made, he said.

“This was the warm-up,” Klotz said.

In terms of the volume of ballots, the election was on par with what the commission expected, which follows a general rule of 30% of votes coming in at the beginning, 30% in the middle and 40% in the very end, he said.

This year, 50% of votes came in election day and the day before, according to election data.

More than 42% of registered voters cast their ballots in the coordinated election compared to about 38% in 2017 and 41% in 2015.

Local voters came out strongly against state proposition CC with more than 62% of respondents choosing “no.” The decision for state proposition DD was a closer race with nearly 54% of voters selecting “yes.” Statewide, CC failed and DD narrowly passed.

Now, the commission will complete “ballot cures” for people whose signatures didn't match or had other issues with their ballot. That will last eight days and then the final certification of votes will be submitted to the secretary of state on Nov. 29.


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