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Local voter turnout slows as Election Day nears

But final rush expected Tuesday

Local voter turnout slows as Election...

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Election officials in El Paso and Pueblo counties said the ballot count slowed during the weekend after exceeding expectations last week.

As of Monday morning, the Secretary of State's Office reported that 101,866 ballots were returned in El Paso County, and 23,585 were returned in Pueblo County.

Chuck Broerman, El Paso County's clerk and recorder, said ballot returns last week were on pace to reach 40 percent to 45 percent -- considered high for an off-year election.

"We sent out 400,000 ballots," he said.  "So we're right at 25 percent.  But we expect an increase Monday and Tuesday,"

Meanwhile, Gilbert Ortiz, clerk and recorder for Pueblo County, said returns there are low, as well.

"It's hard to know what to expect after a presidential year because I fell like there's quite a bit of voter fatigue and political fatigue," he said.  "So I think some people are taking a break."

Broerman said El Paso County voters may be particularly disinterested in the ballot because of the high percentage of tax or fee proposals, a low percentage of races for office and candidates running unopposed in nine of those races.

Snow in Tuesday's weather forecast could further reduce voter turnout.

Ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. Tuesday to count in the election.

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