The Pueblo West View

Early voting draws large turnout

With two voting days to go, 21,014 have been to the polls

Plenty of Puebloans have taken advantage of early voting in the recall election for state Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo.

Gilbert ‘Bo’ Ortiz
Gilbert ‘Bo’ Ortiz

To date, 21,014 voters have turned out to the various polling places around town conducting early voting.

Of that total, 9,838 have been Democrats, 6,869 have been Republicans and 4,174 have been unaffiliated voters, according to the Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder’s office. Others affiliated with different parties such as Libertarians and the Green Party make up 133 of the total votes cast.

Early voting began on Aug. 30 and was closed all day on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz said the early turnout has been good but he’s more focused on the end-game when all ballots are cast on Tuesday by 7 p.m.

“All I’m looking at is the final goal,” he said. “There were 47,000 ballots cast in the Senate district in 2010 and that’s what we are aiming at. We’re probably even aiming a little closer to 50,000.”

On Sunday 2,461 people took to the polls.

Ortiz said he encourages citizens to vote today.

“I believe Tuesday we will have major lines,” he said. “I would prefer everybody go vote on Monday.”

While some voters have been hitting the polls early, both Giron and Republican challenger George Rivera’s campaigns have been canvassing neighborhoods to get people who haven’t voted yet to the polls.

“We are out doing more of the same today. We are knocking on doors and canvassing,” Giron said. “We’ve had enough volunteers (Sunday) that we were able to contact every house we’ve identified as supporters.”

Giron said getting people to the polls is her biggest concern.

“A lot of people didn’t know you could vote on the weekend,” she said. “We didn’t have mail ballots for this election. Some people have been voting with mail ballots for 10 years now. I met a woman who had a heart condition and can’t make it to vote and without a mail ballot, she just won’t be able to. It’s been a hindrance.”

Meanwhile, Rivera and his team have been doing much of the same.

“We’ve been out waving signs and making phone calls to try and get folks out to the polls and vote,” Rivera said. “We’re just continuing to do what we’ve been doing because we think it’s been working well.”

Rivera said his biggest concern heading into Election Day is making sure the election is fair and honest and, like Giron, making sure enough of his supporters show up to the polls.

“I want to be sure the voters get out and vote what they want and vote their conscience,” he said. “When this is all said and done on Tuesday we can have a final tally and have a final decision by the voters of what they want.”

Rivera admitted he’s a little nervous but said things have been so fast-paced he doesn’t have a lot of time to be.

“I can’t tell you that I’m not somewhat nervous but on the other hand, we’ve been busy out here and it makes the time fly,” he said. “It’s almost like you’re so busy you don’t have time to really get nervous.”

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The Pueblo West View