The Pueblo Chieftan

GOP, Pueblo West lead way in recall voting

Numbers show an energized Republican base and Pueblo West had major impacts on the historic recall election of state Sen. Angela Giron Tuesday.

The metropolitan district was home to just two polling centers out of 11 locations for the election, but the 8,848 ballots cast at the Pueblo West Library and Pueblo West Fire Station No. 3 account for about 25.5 percent of the total votes counted.

Pueblo West’s library was the busiest polling center of the election, recording 6,775 votes.

According to the numbers, provided by the Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder’s office, nearly as many unaffiliated voters, 2,274, cast ballots in Pueblo West as Democrats, 2,298. Both were outnumbered nearly 2 to 1 by the 4,202 Republican voters.

Giron, a Democrat, was recalled Tuesday in an election that had her support of controversial gun control legislation as its key issue.

With 19,355 people casting ballots in favor of the recall, some Democrats broke party lines and voted against Giron.

Under an extremely basic scenario that presumes all Republicans, unaffiliated, minor party and mail-in voters supported the recall, 153 Democrats would have voted yes as well. That’s about 1 percent of the total Democrats who voted in the election.

While that scenario is highly unlikely, it also means that as more Republicans, unaffiliated and minor party voters supported Giron, more Democrats did not.

Still, local party officials said Thursday the results were largely affected by low turnout rather than an indictment of the party’s values.

Al Becco, first vice-chairman of the Pueblo County Democratic Party, said he didn’t think the party needed to make any changes because the voters did that with the election.

“We have to live with what the voters decided,” he said.

But Becco also noted that voter turnout was low and voters themselves may have been confused over the effect of Giron’s decisions on the gun control measures.

Preliminary numbers show turnout was about 35 percent of total registered voters in Senate District 3.

At 15,472, out of the 49,913 registered Democrats, the party’s turnout was about 31 percent.

Pueblo County Republicans were far more active. The GOP was less than 5,000 voters shy of matching the total Democratic turnout Tuesday, but there are fewer Republicans in the district.

According to the clerk, 10,851 Republicans voted, a little more than 48 percent of the 22,344 registered Republicans in Senate District 3.

Unaffiliated voters and members of minor parties were far less active at 24.5 and 27 percent, respectively.

Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz said there still are 243 provisional ballots left to count.

Roughly 700 people voted by mail, but those numbers were not broken down by party affiliation.

Ortiz also said there were 33 new voter registrations from outside of the district filed during the election process.

Ortiz said he couldn’t be sure how many of those votes were new voters, registering for the first time ever.

jtucker@chieftain.com

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