The day has come, Denver voters. You have until 7 p.m. to turn in your ballot to one of 13 vote centers or, well, you’ll have to wait until the runoff election, which at this point appears evident. The at-large city council race is the only one without the potential for a runoff, but in every other case, a single candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote in order to be declared the winner. “The only thing that’s certain is that the two top vote-getters in the mayor’s race will be the two people who convince the most voters to drop off their ballots in this all-mail election,” writes Westword editor Patricia Calhoun.
Indeed. With just about 23 percent of ballots submitted as of Saturday, the mayoral contenders are running down an exhaustive schedule of door-knocking, phone-calling, sign-waving—all the usual tactics political campaigns use to drive voters to the ballot box in the final hours (Denver Post and CBS4). Doug Linkhart expressed concern over the low turnout on Friday as he cast his vote (Colorado Independent), although he believes his prominence in the ballot lineup (his name is at the top in the mayoral category) gives him an edge over the leading candidates, despite their significant and potentially record-setting fund-raising efforts (Post).
Poll leaders Michael Hancock, James Mejia, and Chris Romer have turned old political friends—former Denver mayors Wellington Webb and Federico Peña, and former Governor Roy Romer—into endorsement challengers, respectively (Post). But even such big names probably won’t make a difference in the outcome of the race, says former U.S. Senator Gary Hart. “In my experience, endorsements don’t turn out votes,” he says.
The best place for information about how to turn out your vote can be found at denvervotes.org. The clock is ticking.