ELN: Eighty-one-percent of Mesa County voters cast ballots

Voters line up to cast their ballots at Mesa State College’s Saunders Fieldhouse late Tuesday afternoon.

Nothing was stopping Mike Rapasardi from voting in the 2008 election.

After Rapasardi and his wife, Alice, misplaced their mail-in ballot envelopes, they were told they had to vote by provisional ballot Tuesday.

So Mike, 90, and Alice, 77, drove from Fruita to Mesa Mall to wait 90 minutes to cast their ballots in this election, an election both said is the most important in their lifetimes.

“He would have walked,” Alice Rapasardi said, pointing to her husband. “He would have ridden a horse.”

Her husband nodded. He has never missed a presidential election.

Mesa County voters in general took Rapasardi’s approach and turned out to vote. Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Janice Rich said the votes of 61,227 people, approximately 81 percent active registered voters in the count, had been counted as of 11 p.m. She estimated 20,000 voters showed up at the polls Tuesday.

Rosalinda Steele, 28, voting in her third presidential election, said she had trouble sleeping Monday night because she was so excited to vote.

On Tuesday, Steele went to Mesa Mall, saw a line, turned around and drove to Redlands Middle School, where there was no line, she said.

Nearly three hours after she voted, Steele was still wearing the sticker she received from election officials after she cast her ballot.

“I see people put them in their purses,” Steele said of the little stickers. “I’m like, ‘Wear it. Maybe someone will see it and be more encouraged to vote.’ ”


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