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As expected, turnout low at the polls  (CO)

Jakob Rodgers  Greeley Tribune   07 November 2007

With no major state or national issue on the ballot, voter apathy proved the theme of the day on Tuesday.

As expected, voter turnout was low in Weld County, as only 34 percent of registered voters made its way to the polls. According to Steve Moreno, the county clerk and reporter, the lack of national issues and big-ticket items was likely a major driving force behind the low turnout.

"Odd-year elections tend to be a much lower voter turnout," Moreno said.

Last year, 68 percent of registered voters submitted ballots in Weld. However, according to Moreno, elections in the year before a presidential race usually do not draw a great crowd. Weld had only a 36 percent voter turnout in 1999 and a 42 percent voter turnout in 2003.

Despite the low turnout, however, the day did not go without a hitch as voting machines started showing the wrong ballots early in the morning. The countywide problem was first reported at 7:15 a.m. and was not fully fixed until approximately 9:15 a.m.

Voting centers manually distributed paper ballots until the problem could be fixed.

Next year's elections will likely have a much higher turnout, Moreno said, as the presidential race usually brings many more voters to the polls. In 2004, 90 percent of registered submitted ballots in Weld County.

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