Lonely at the Polls

Monday, November 3, 2008
I live in Douglas County, Colorado.

This year, Colorado is a contested state in the General Election. This is new for us - we've been solidly red for many years. My county in particular is very red. The last time a Democratic candidate got the majority of Douglas County votes for President was in 1964, when Lyndon Johnson pulled in 1,442 to Barry Goldwater's 1,336.

If you think that means my county was predominantly rural during that time, you'd be right.

In 2004, John Kerry earned 39,661 to George W. Bush's 80,651. And that was a "close" year - typically the Republicans beat the Democrats by a margin of 2 to 1.

Douglas County is also a very active county when it comes to voting. In 2004, Douglas County had the highest participation rate among registered voters in the country, with over 98% of registered voters coming out to cast their ballots. This year, the County Clerk expects at least that level of participation. That's cool.

I'm curious to see what the statistics look like this year. I've been a liberal Democrat for a number of years, and in this county, that makes me a minority. But based on what I'm hearing and seeing, I may not be as lonely at the polls as I have been in the past.

Exciting times!

2 comments:

Jeri said...

Are you an election judge again tomorrow, or was that gig only for the primaries?

Hmm... makes me wonder, what would an election judge do at general election time in a vote-by-mail state?

In WA, we have mail-in ballots, but voters can also drop the by their polling places on Nov 4, presumably to save postage. (Because gas is ever so much cheaper, I guess!)

I don't know if, in WA, we have electronic voting machines and those ballots are counted at the polling places, or if the sealed envelopes are boxed up as if they were mailed, and taken someplace central for counting. It seems like the latter could lend itself to abuse.

Ah, the trivia behind the election scenes.

It's so cool that your county has such a fabulous voter turnout!

Janiece Murphy said...

I'll be a poll judge again tomorrow - I have a couple of posts queued up for the occasion.

In Colorado, each county sets their own rules, and for us, paper ballots (whether filled out by mail or filled out in the polling place) are placed in the ballot box, and then collected periodically throughout the day by a paid election official (a delegate of the County Clerk) and an armed Sheriff's Deputy. Ballots are scanned/counted at the County building.