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Here’s why Denverites say they haven’t voted yet (Local Tips & Reviews)

Nearly 88% of registered voters haven’t turned in a ballot, and older Denverites look like they’ll be determining the future of the city.

Early voters drop off their ballots at a drive-through collection station outside Denver Elections Division headquarters on Bannock Street, Nov. 7, 2022.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Denver, you’re still basically not voting.

With under 88% of eligible voters still to turn in their ballots, we’re getting a B+ for electoral apathy. Congrats?

As of this writing, 24,391 people ages 65 and up had voted. That’s more than all people from 18 to 54 — 21,937. Another 8,731 people from 55 to 64 have voted.

If this trend continues, older Denverites will set the agenda for the city, picking an entirely new mayor and reshaping City Council. Perhaps that makes sense? People 65 and up are the fastest-growing population in Colorado. Many younger people can’t afford the rent and the hopes of buying a home in the city are all but nil.

After Denverite wrote about some of the reasons why voter turnout is so low, we decided to ask our readers why they still haven’t turned in their ballots.

Here’s what Julie F. wrote:

“I have voted in every election but this Denver election has me exasperated! I can not decide. The only person I am confidently voting for is Penfield Tate. I wish he was running for Mayor. All the outside $ and greedy developers support. The horrific job Hancock has done has me feeling abused. So many problems but no solid solutions except high-density vertical housing growth. How is that sustainable when we have water & air pollution problems now? I am literally losing sleep because this election is so critical to the future of my beloved Denver that has not changed for the better.

Ann S. confessed:

“Okay, yeah, I admit that I’ve been shoving that voter guide and ballot to the back burner, but your ‘Sad voter turnout’ nudge got my attention. Dropping off my completed ballot is atop my stack of errands for today.”

Here’s the story that Ann was referring to about how turnout looked and how Denver’s municipal election turnout has been poor for decades.

Isa D. noted:

Totally agree with mayoral “choice paralysis ” analysis… Will turn in my ballot by April 4. But, I wonder, specifically on 20 if it will matter. How many times do you have to vote on the same issue? Really… NO means NO. Seems like the developers are counting on less people voting to steam roll their project. And will the elected mayor back up that vote? That matters to me… I saw a split screen photo yesterday pm …Axios? or NY TImes? NYC Central Park & NYC housing. That could be our redeveloped PHGC & Denver housing! Wow… We could have Both!

Mike wrote:

I’ve had my ballot 80% filled out since the weekend (and will turn it in last minute). Although the voter guides are helpful, I’m struggling to make up my mind about the mayoral race. Big decision and too many candidates!

Vic A. said the media should have done more to drum up awareness.

A large reason was except for rare mentions in the media, there was almost no activity by the candidates to reach out to voters until the ballots were in the mail. Yes there were a few debates, but they were poorly advertised. This is the most lets-not-get-the vote-out election cycle I have seen since I started voting in every election since 1968. Both the media & the candidates have failed in their prime directive….get the voter interested and EDUCATED.

We’re trying, Vic. We’re trying.

So you want to vote, but you’re overwhelmed?

No worries. We have you covered. Check out our 2023 voter guide here.

And if you’re not registered, you can do so up until Election Day, April 4.

Find out how to register to vote (which you can up through Election Day) at the Clerk and Recorders website.

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