Few voters turn out for Tuesday primary
EAGLE COUNTY – Less than 10 percent of Eagle County’s voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary election. The roughly 2,100 who did turn out voted about the same way as the rest of Colorado’s party faithful, sending Republican Pete Coors and Democrat Ken Salazar into the fall Senate race with resounding primary victories.Salazar’s win had been expected. Recent polls showed him with a comfortable lead over fellow Democrat Mike Miles. Coors’ large victory margin was something of a surprise, given recent polling that showed him with only a slight lead over former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer.The perception of one race as a sure thing and the other as a possible squeaker may have led to Republicans’ proportionally greater turnout at the polls Tuesday. More than 1,250 Republicans cast ballots Tuesday, as opposed to only 850 Democrats.”When you see polls with Salazar with 60 percent of the vote, a lot of Democrats probably figured there was no point in voting,” Eagle County Democratic Party co-chairwoman Deb Marquez said. But polling late last week for the Republicans didn’t account for Coors’ media and phone push over the weekend, local Republican co-chairman Don Lemon said.Both Marquez and Lemon said their parties didn’t put a lot of effort into the primary elections. With few contested positions and the senate campaigns putting most of their time and money into drumming up support into the urban areas of the Front Range, there wasn’t much point whipping up the faithful.That’s going to change, though.”This is an important election,” Lemon said. “It’s important to express your views and voting is the way to do that.”To get people out, Lemon said local Republican volunteers will be working the phones in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 2 election.
Eagle County’s Democrats will do the same.”We’re going to do everything we can with the volunteers we have available,” Marquez said. “We have more volunteers than ever and the more volunteers you have the more you can do.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail Daily, Vail ColoradoDeclare yourselfUnaffiliated voters can become members of a party on primary day:• In Eagle County, 94 voters declared a party affiliation Tuesday, with 45 becoming Republicans and 49 Democrats – at least for the day.How we voted:U.S. Senate
RepublicanBob Schaffer339Pete Coors915DemocratMike Miles247Ken Salazar603U.S. House of Representatives – RepublicanMichael Kennedy490
Stephen Hackman459Daniel Campbel5Polls kept open an extra hour in McCoyA motorcycle rider’s fatal collision with a dump truck that closed Highway 131 north of Wolcott early Tuesday evening kept the polls open at McCoy an extra hour.”The election judges up there knew there were people who planned to vote after work,” Eagle County Clerk Teak Simonton said. “I called the Secretary of State’s office about how to keep the polls open. On their advice, I called Judge (Richard) Hart who issued an oral court order to keep the site open.”The extra hour of voting time allowed a handful of evening voters to wait out the highway closure. Because of the court order, another three ballots were cast.- Scott N. Miller ====================