Tuesday morning turnout light in Morse recall election

By Megan Schrader Published: September 10, 2013 | 9:50 am 0
photo - Voters waited in line to vote early in the Morse recall election at the DMV at Powers and Airport Rd. on Thursday, Sept 5, 2013. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)
Voters waited in line to vote early in the Morse recall election at the DMV at Powers and Airport Rd. on Thursday, Sept 5, 2013. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)

Turnout Tuesday morning has been low in the recall election of Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.

There were short waits and almost no lines at any of the voting centers in Senate District 11 in the first several hours of election day.

But traffic at the voting service centers could pick up around the lunch hour and after work.

Heading into election day, almost 13,000 votes have been cast in the election.

For comparison purposes in the 2010 gubernatorial election when Morse was elected, there were 28,646 votes cast from Senate District 11. There are roughly 69,000 registered voters in the district.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Those in line when polls close will be permitted to vote.

High turnout is expected Tuesday given the large number of early voters.

Only those who live in Senate District 11 are eligible to vote in the election. The district includes most of central and south central Colorado Springs and stretches west to include Manitou Springs.

El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams reported that when early voting ended Monday 12,985 ballots, including absentee ballots, had been received.

Of those, 5,192 were cast by Republican voters, 4,314 by Democrats and 3,479 by unaffiliated or third party voters.

At issue is whether Morse should be removed from office for supporting five new gun laws during the 2013 legislative session and one gun bill he introduced but that failed to become law.

Opponents of the new laws gathered signatures in the district to force the recall election and Gov. John Hickenlooper set the election date for Sept. 10.

Also facing recall Tuesday is Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo. Only voters in Senate District 3 can vote in that election, which includes Pueblo, Pueblo West and a large swath of the unincorporated county.

Voters answer two questions on the ballots. The first question is whether Morse and Giron should be removed from office. A "yes" vote is for the recall and a "no" vote keeps the lawmaker who was elected in 2010 in office for the 2014 legislative session.

The second question asks if Morse is removed from Senate District 11 office, who should replace him. The only option on the ballot is Bernie Herpin, a Republican and former member of the Colorado Springs City Council. There is also space to write in a candidate name.

Voters can answer both or just one of the questions.

No voters in this election received mail ballots unless they specifically requested emergency or absentee ballots for this election or if they are overseas military members. Absentee and emergency ballots may be dropped off in person at any of the voting centers prior to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The first election results are expected at 7:15 p.m.; results will be updated at gazette.com through the evening.

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Contact Megan Schrader

719-286-0644

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