Arapahoe County News

Posted on: September 14, 2017

Voter participation and satisfaction high in Arapahoe County

Male voter fills out ballot at voting booth

Voters in Arapahoe County have high satisfaction in the conduct of our elections and participate at a higher rate than the national average, according to recent surveys.

Arapahoe County’s elections and voter registration services were the top-rated service by residents in the County’s 2017 Citizen Survey, with 87 percent of respondents ranking these as excellent or good. This represents a 26-percent increase in favorable responses for these services over the 2008 Survey.

Voter turnout is another indicator of citizens’ confidence in the elections conducted by Arapahoe County. In the 2016 General Election, 74.05 percent of registered voters in Arapahoe County cast a ballot. That is significantly higher than the nationwide turnout of 65.44 percent, according to the 2016 Election Administration and Voting Survey recently released by the U.S. Election Commission.

“We are extremely proud that our citizens have recognized Arapahoe County’s elections as exceptional quality, and put their confidence in the integrity of our system by participating at such a high rate as voters,” said Clerk and Recorder Matt Crane. “At a time when elections administration is being questioned at a national level, we are proud of the inclusive and transparent process that we’ve built in our county, and these numbers show that our citizens are too.”

Under Crane’s leadership since 2013, the Clerk and Recorder’s Office has taken many strides to enhance voter tools, communication and access to the ballot box. For example, the Elections Division has deployed 22 new 24-hour ballot boxes in four years, bringing the total to 24 across the county. Voters value this convenience; two out of three return their mail ballot to a ballot box, instead of via mail.

For added transparency, voters can now track their ballot envelope using BallotTrack, a service launched in 2014. More than 30,000 voters have subscribed to receive free text, email and phone calls when their ballot is mailed to them, picked up by the Postal Service and received by the County for counting.

Also in 2016, the Clerk’s Office launched a geolocation tool to find the nearest ballot box or Voter Service and Polling Center, as well as see wait times. It is online at www.arapahoevotes.com/Find-My-Nearest.

Arapahoe County also invested in hosting 25 Voter Service and Polling Centers in the 2014 and 2016 general elections, even more than the statutory minimum of 23 for our county.

Last year, the Elections Division replaced its aging voting equipment with the State’s new uniform voting system, which includes innovative software and hardware for processing ballots and voting. Voters now fill in a circle on their mail ballot, or use a tablet to mark their choices, which is a clearer way to vote. Every ballot is cast on paper, ensuring that there is always an audit trail.

To that end, Arapahoe County has played a lead role in developing more robust post-election audits in Colorado. The Clerk’s Office piloted the risk-limiting audit, which is now the standard for all counties.

Crane also has expanded partnerships with political parties and voting rights organizations. Tours of the Elections Facility are available to interested stakeholders, community groups and scouting troops. On Election Day, Crane travels to voting locations with representatives of both the Arapahoe County Democratic and Republican Parties to ensure strong collaboration and transparency.

The next opportunity for citizens to vote is the Nov. 7 Coordinated Election, which will determine the outcome of questions and races for local municipalities and districts. There are no county, state or federal questions. Ballots will be mailed to eligible active voters beginning Oct. 16, and must be returned by 7 p.m., Election Day. Voters may also visit one of four Voter Service and Polling Centers beginning Oct. 30.

Coming in late September, the County will unveil a redesigned and mobile-responsive Elections website. Find election information and update your voter registration at www.arapahoevotes.com.

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Media Contact: Haley McKean, 303-734-5465 or hmckean@arapahoegov.com

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