Presidential elections get Coloradans to vote, not propositions

DENVER (KDVR) — Even though 2023 is not a traditional election year, if you’re a registered voter in Colorado, you will likely get a ballot in the mail sometime before November.

There are two propositions on the ballot for Nov. 7, Proposition HH and Proposition II.

Despite this, if history is any indication at least, most Coloradans will decide to skip the trip to the mailbox or local drop-off location.

FOX31 went through the data which showed fewer people submit votes when there isn’t a presidential race on the ballot. Even fewer ballots are cast when there aren’t any candidates to vote for.

Presidential elections are popular, propositions are not

Colorado has had automatic voter registration since 2017 and has sent mail-in ballots to every registered voter since 2014. However, not every November election is created equal.

Of the five years that FOX31 looked at, 2020 by far had the most ballots cast at 3,291,661.

The other years weren’t even close. In fact, 2018, the year with the second-most votes cast, came in at 2,566,748, which is just over 700,000 less than in 2020.

That isn’t surprising as there was a big-ticket presidential election that year between current President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

As far as the number of votes cast, 2018 and 2022 come in second and third place, respectively. In 2022, there were 2,540,221 votes cast, which is only around 26,000 less than in 2018.

Both years saw statewide elections for governor, with a statewide U.S. Senate election happening in 2022.

In the five years between 2018 and 2022, there were two years that had elections with only propositions on the statewide ballot: 2019 and 2021. In both years, there were less than half the number of ballots cast as in 2020.

In November 2019, 1,577,457 ballots were cast. Two years later in November 2021, 1,533,221 ballots were cast — around 44,000 less than in 2019.

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