Rejection Rate for Unaffiliated Voters Was Less than Half the Percentage Projected

Prowers County Courthouse


DENVER, July 6, 2018 — Colorado’s unaffiliated voters beat the odds in the June 26 primary election, turning in ballots that had to be rejected at less than half the rate initially predicted. 

Voters in 2016 approved Proposition 108, which allowed unaffiliated voters to automatically participate in primary elections by voting for candidates on either the Democratic ballot or the Republican ballot. Based on other states’ results, one argument against the measure was that as many as 7 percent of the ballots would have to be disqualified because voters would fill out both ballots instead of one.

But the statewide rejection rate was 2.4 percent, according to election figures released today. Of the 293,153 ballots submitted by unaffiliated voters, 6,914 contained ballots for both Democratic and Republican candidates so neither ballot counted. The attachment breaks down the rejection rate by county. 

“I am incredibly proud of the efforts by our county clerks and media partners who helped deliver the message to only vote one ballot,” Secretary of State Wayne Williams said. “Our office will be working with the clerks to improve the percentage in our next primary election, in 2020.” 

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce campaigned for the passage of Prop 108. 

“We know Coloradans are smart and engaged and these numbers confirm it,” said Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the chamber. “It’s exciting to see Colorado’s unaffiliated voters share their voices earlier in the election process. We’re very proud to have played a role in letting Colorado vote.” 

Williams in March rolled out the statewide UChooseCO campaign to educate unaffiliated voters that they could participate in the primary election, but that they could only return one ballot. 

In an effort to help reduce confusion and costs for county clerks, unaffiliated voters were invited to go online to pick which ballot they wanted mailed to them. Those who did not received both ballots. Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner said sending only one ballot to an ununaffiliated voter instead of two ballots reduced mailing costs from $1 to $0.62 for her taxpayers. 

The UChooseCO campaign — launched with the help of Forté Advertising — included three, 8-foot yellow inflatable U’s that traveled the state, and wooden U’s decorated by SOS staffers, newsmakers, county clerks, lawmakers, candidates, political junkies and others.


Filed Under: City of LamarCountyElectionsFeaturedMedia Release


About the Author: