With a little more than a week left in this year's general election, so far Colorado Republicans are outpacing Democrats and unaffiliated voters in casting early ballots.

As of Friday, the last day such numbers were available, more than 168,000 Republicans had cast a ballot, compared to about 163,000 Democrats and 132,000 unaffiliated voters.

By percentage, that puts all three groups on pace with the last midterm elections in 2014, but with far fewer Republicans actually voting.

By this time four years ago, more than 226,000 GOP voters had cast ballots.

That compared to about 1,000 fewer Democrats and 13,000 fewer unaffiliated voters in 2014, according to data compiled by the Louisville-based Magellan Strategies, a research and campaign consulting firm that primarily represents Republican candidates.

Magellan's numbers also indicate that more Republicans than Democrats have already voted in the 3rd Congressional District where the incumbent, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., faces former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs.

In that race, nearly 32,000 Republicans have voted, compared to more than 25,000 Democrats and 22,000 unaffiliated voters.

Like the statewide percentages, margins in the expansive 3rd district are higher than in 2014, but below actual voters.

More than 18 percent of GOP voters in the district already have cast ballots, compared to nearly 16 percent four years ago.

According to data from the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, about 21 percent of active registered Republicans have voted so far, compared to 19 percent of all registered Democrats.

Only about 12 percent of all active unaffiliated voters have cast a ballot so far.

In Mesa County, more than twice as many Republicans have already voted over Democrats to date, which is on pace with the percentage difference between local registered voters who are affiliated with the two major parties. 

The Mesa County clerk's office reports that, so far, slightly more than 20 percent of registered voters have cast their ballots, but there's still nearly 73,000 outstanding ballots yet to come in.

While it's not too late to mail in those ballots, those who wish to use Mesa County's drop-off ballot boxes can find locations at:

■ Mesa County Central Services, 200 S. Spruce St.

■ Grand Valley Transit West, 612 24½ Road.

■ Mesa County Human Services, 510 29½ Road

■ PeachTree Shopping Center, 3225 Interstate 70 Business Loop

■ Fruita Civic Center, 325 E. Aspen Ave.

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