Early voters favor GOP in 3rd CD



There are five locations open until Nov. 6 where ballots can be dropped off or voters can cast ballots. Five other locations will be open on Election Day. The early vote centers include:

■ Clifton Road & Bridge Shop, 126 2nd St.

■ Mesa County Clerk’s Office, 200 S. Spruce St.

•■ Fruita Civic Center, 325 E. Aspen Ave.

■  Goodwill, 630 24 1/2 Road

■  Mesa County Fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. Highway 50

While Democrats have managed to keep pace with Republicans statewide in voting early, they haven’t in the 3rd Congressional District.

Statewide, about 3 percent more Republicans than Democrats have already cast their ballot in this year’s election.

In the 29-county congressional district, however, that GOP-Democrat margin is nearly 8 percent.

The campaign for U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, the Cortez freshman who represents the district, is crediting its ground game for the better turnout.

“Our volunteers are fired up,” Tipton spokesman Michael Fortney said. “They have been working hard day and night for months, knocking doors and calling voters to get Republicans out to vote across the 3rd district, and it is paying off.”

As of Wednesday, 163,145 voters in the district have cast a ballot — 54,960 Democrats and 67,618 Republicans, according to the latest by-county turnout results complied by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. Of all votes cast so far, less than 24 percent are from unaffiliated voters.

Those numbers don’t include voters in Eagle County, only half of which is in the 3rd CD.

The campaign for Tipton’s opponent, state Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, dismissed the nearly returns, saying the unaffiliated votes are coming from areas they expect will support Pace.

“We are extremely encouraged by the early numbers coming back,” spokesman James Dakin said. “Based on the historical trends of the district and how it early votes, where the unaffiliated ballots are coming back from, and our superior ground game, we feel that when the polls close on Election Day, our voters will have voted and Sal Pace will be a U.S. congressman.”

So far, about 43.3 percent of the more than 375,000 active voters in the district have cast a ballot. Statewide, about 42.6 percent of voters have done so.

Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner warns that voters shouldn’t return their mail-in ballots by mail after today, not if they want to insure they reach the proper elections officials in time to be counted.

She said starting Friday, mail-in ballots should be hand delivered to any of the five early voting centers, or the 10 that will be open on Nov. 6.

Reiner also warned voters to be sure to sign the envelope the ballot comes in, adding that all ballots turned in by the time the polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday will be counted.


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