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Ballot collection is in progress at the El Paso Citizens Service Center.

Two Colorado Springs tax issues to pave roads and support parks and recreation were leading in the first returns reported by the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office.

A measure that allowed the city to keep $7 million in revenue to support parks had 51,794 votes in support against 39,835 opposed.

Another that continued a tax to pave roads and other improvements had 59,249 votes in support against 32,171 opposed.

On state issues, El Paso County voted no.

Proposition CC, a measure that would have allowed the state to keep tax money for schools and roads was panned by local voters, who said no by a margin of more than 35,000 votes. Locals were also against Proposition DD, a measure that would allow sports betting in mountain gambling towns by a margin of more than 13,000 votes.

Proposition CC was falling in statewide voter tallies with 56 percent opposed. Proposition DD, meanwhile had a narrow shot at victory, with support from a shade over 50 percent of Colorado voters.

Colorado GOP chairman and Greeley U.S. Rep. Ken Buck crowed that the lection results were a boon to the GOP.

“Colorado taxpayers were the clear winner in tonight’s defeat of Proposition CC. Governor Polis and the liberal State Legislature overreached once again but were unsuccessful in deceiving the voters of Colorado to fund their reckless spending spree." Buck said in an email.

By 8 p.m. more than 140,000 El Paso County ballots had been counted. Officials expected as many as 4,500 absentee and overseas ballots to be counted in the next week.

Drivers lined up at the El Paso County office building off Garden of the Gods Road Tuesday night to drop off last-second ballots for the off-year election.

With state tax issues, sports betting, local taxes and school board seats up for grabs in Colorado Springs and a pile of local races, voter turnout was higher than expected. Election officials said more than 40 percent of registered voters were expected to cast ballots in an election that usually draws dismal returns.

Statewide more than 1.1 million voters joined in the all-mail election, and no county had a turnout to rival El Paso County, which had received 144,000 ballots back by Tuesday afternoon.

Republicans in El Paso County had the loudest voice at the ballot box, with 70,026 votes. Local Democrats saw 28,999 ballots cast and  unaffiliated voters amassed 43,452 ballots.

What all those ballots mean will be come clearer soon, with the first count in El Paso County due at about 7:15 p.m.

The counting was a little bit slow Tuesday in El Paso County, but that's not for lack of help. County officials say they have 200 workers on board for the election to sort through ballots.

Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240

Twitter: @xroederx

Senior Military Editor

Tom Roeder is the Gazette's senior military editor. In Colorado Springs since 2003, Tom covers seven military installations in Colorado, including five in the Pikes Peak region. His main job, though, is being dad to two great kids.

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