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Jaimeka Garner brings her young son Jayden Garner while she drops off her ballot to vote for the first time in an election. She was dropping off her ballot in front of Centennial Hall on Monday, November 4, 2019. All ballots for Tuesday’s election have to be dropped off by 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

El Paso County voters are leading the state in returned ballots for the Nov. 5 election, Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman said.

Of the approximately 410,000 ballots mailed to voters across the county, about 109,000 of them have been returned, Broerman said. Monday and Tuesday are expected to carry the largest influx of ballots, so those figures are expected to uptick sharply.

“We are projecting a 42 percent turnout, which is about 165,000 ballots returned,” Broerman said.

Ballot counts from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office showed that as of Monday, El Paso County had collected about 10,000 more ballots than Jefferson County, second place statewide.

That count showed that Arapahoe and Denver counties had received 68,416 and 63,511 ballots respectively for a far-flung third and fourth place.

In all, 793,033 ballots had been collected across the state as of Monday, the Secretary of State’s report shows.

Statewide, Republicans were outvoting Democrats with 303,324 ballots against 238,973. The state’s unaffiliated voters had turned in 242,081 ballots.

Coordinated elections, like this one, typically yield the lowest voter turnout, Broerman said. Still, the county is about 12 percent ahead of the 2017 and 2015 coordinated elections.

“We can do a lot to try and encourage people to vote, but at the end of the day it’s ballot content,” Broerman said. “It’s the ballot content, the local issues, the statewide issues that probably have people concerned when it comes to people’s pocketbooks.”

In contrast, presidential elections typically boast a turnout about twice as high, Broerman said. In 2016, voter participation hit around 82 percent.

“That’s the granddaddy of them all,” Broerman said. “That’s the biggest and has the most voters.”

So far, voters within Colorado Springs had returned about 58,658 ballots, said Kristi Ridlen, a spokeswoman for the clerk’s office. She was uncertain how many ballots had initially been mailed to city voters, however.

Initial vote tallies will be released Tuesday evening, Ridlen said. Voters can return their ballots until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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