Simonton: 15,000 to vote early in Eagle County, 100 percent turnout expected
October 30, 2008 —
In some ways, the job of a county clerk and recorder is to stay out of the news – which is exactly what Eagle County’s Teak Simonton is trying to do as she and her staff prepare for the largest election turnout in Eagle County history.
News may be made anyhow by voters themselves as election officials around the country prepare for what may be the largest voter turnout in general election history.
Simonton said she expects 100 percent of Eagle County’s active voters to turn out by the time polls close Nov. 4. The county has already mailed 12,000 absentee ballots to voters and received about 7,500 of those at their Eagle headquarters.
Early voting, available at El Jebel, Eagle, and Avon, has also seen a turnout of 2,500 people. Simonton is expecting about 15,000 to have voted before Election Day – or about 60 percent of the active voting public.
“If anything maybe we’ll have some inactive voters come out of hiding and push the active number higher – above the 23,000 mark,” Simonton said.
The 2004 turnout among active voters was 89 percent – or 20,500 people. This year the clerk has prepared for 23,000 voters – and is expecting to see as many as 24,000.
The population of Eagle County is estimated at 49,085. Do the quick math and it seems we’ll have a 48 percent turnout in the election this year.
That doesn’t mean activists are relaxing at home, waiting for the turnout to happen on its own.
“I just want to shout out: PEOPLE!” said Eagle County Democratic leader Debbie Marquez. “With all these (early voting) opportunities you’ve got to get out and vote, now!”
Republican leader Randy Milhoan spoke with me and said he was on his way to the county clerk's office to take care of some business, and is expected to talk with me later about the outlook for Republicans in Eagle County.
In 2004, George Bush won 8,533 Eagle County votes and John Kerry won 9,744. Ralph Nader received 118 votes.
Also in 2004, Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar beat out Republican candidate Pete Coors 10,110 to 7,636.
Learn more about voting in Eagle County at http://www.eaglecounty.us/clerk/elections.cfm
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