Last-Minute New Registrations Key in Morse Recall

We've been taking a look at the various voter turnout and registration statistics related to the Sept. 10th recall election, and a few numbers stick out as, well…interesting.

According to the Secretary of State's office, there were 83,782 total registered voters in SD-11 (Sen. John Morse's district) as of Sept. 1, 2013. In SD-3 (Sen. Angela Giron), the SOS office counts 97,186 registered voters as of Sept. 1. The last day to register online to vote in the recall election was Sept. 2, but residents could register in person up until Election Day on Sept. 10.

According to the turnout figures posted by the SOS for the recall election, there were 84,029 registered voters in SD-11 and 97,260 in SD-3. If these numbers are correct, and we have no reason to believe they are inaccurate, then a total of 247 new voters were registered in SD-11 in 10 days — most of them likely in person at the El Paso County Clerk's office. That doesn't seem like a high number by itself, but when you do the math in SD-3, only 74 new registrations were counted since Sept. 1 — but almost twice as many people voted in SD-3 as in SD-11. We understand that the Morse recall was more intense than the Giron recall, but statistically-speaking, those numbers don't make a lot of sense.

Why does this all matter? Because Sen. Morse was recalled by a total margin of 343 votes. Maybe those 247 new registered voters split their ballots on the recall, but from what we hear, Democrats did not put a lot of effort into a new voter registration program. For the sake of argument, if most of those 247 voters supported the recall, then they made the difference between an outright YES on the recall and a margin close enough to trigger an automatic recount.

For clarity's sake, here's those numbers again in a table format:

SD-3 97,186 97,260 74 19,355 15,201 4,154
SD-11 83,782 84,029 247 9,904 8,751 343




8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    If the local Dems didn't put a lot of effort into new voter registration in an election like this, they need their heads examined. Especially considering all the attenntion Caldara was focusing on…ummmm…  late in the game new voter registration.  It's not as if they weren't getting plenty of money to spend. Not terribly confidence inspiring.

  2. OrangeFree says:

    Gee, it looks like there is a slight chance that the new law they're decrying as opening up our elections to extensive fraud may have given them a leg up in the end. 

    How's that for ironic…

  3. notaskinnycook says:

    Things that make you go "Hmmm…", Orange. If I were the El Paso Dems, I'd be closely examinimg those new registrations. But then again, from the looks of the turnout, I wonder if the El Paso Ds have the energy to do such an investigation. 

  4. Helen says:

    Thank you for pointing this out. Colorado Dems focus so much on the same small groups of people, they ignore people who should be their best supporters.

  5. gaf says:

    I don't know the details of registration efforts, but the Morse campaign did work on registration at Colorado College–and, trolls, making sure only eligible students registered and voted.

    Also–typo on the chart. Yes votes in SD 11 are currently 9094, not 9904.

  6. jmatt12 says:

    The other possibility is that the number of people who will actually take the time to vote in an election and are not registered in advance is quite small.  The more common same-day registration modification is an address change, but clerks have been able to do those changes on election day for a few election cycles now.  The number of people who have no registration at all in the state and need to register for the first time is limited to new-move ins.  Not exactly hoards of disenfranchised the Democrats anticipated, neither is it the fraud threat the Republicans fear… actually more of a yawner if you ask me.

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