DENVER (CBS4) – A new study projects that Colorado will be one of the states with the highest voter turnouts this year.
WalletHub measured voter activity across the country and placed Colorado as one of the top 10 “most politically engaged states.” They rank Colorado at No. 7 in their findings, which were released Thursday.
A big indicator in the study was how many voters showed up at the polls for the midterm elections four years ago. In that criteria (“Highest % of Electorate Who Voted in 2014 Midterm Elections”) Colorado ranked No. 2, behind only Maine.
Colorado also ranked high for voter engagement in the last election. In “Highest % of Electorate Who Voted in 2016 Midterm Elections” Colorado came in with a rank of No. 4.
The Centennial State was also ranked 10th in WalletHub’s breakdown of political engagement among young people (ages 18-24) and second in their look at the same stat for people older than 65.
“Voter turnout rises when there are exciting races on the ballot. In midterm elections such as 2018, turnout will be higher turnout in states with governor and/or senator contests that are expected to be close,” said Herbert Weisberg, an emeritus political science professor from Ohio State University who was consulted for the study.
The governor’s seat is up for election this year in Colorado because Democrat John Hickenlooper is facing term limits. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis is facing Republican State Treasurer Walker Stapleton in the race.
Professor David Schultz, another expert who WalletHub consulted, lumped Colorado in with a group of states “that have easier voter registration laws, are more affluent, or are better educated than states as a whole.”
“In addition, there seem to be cultural forces operative in all of them to encourage more civic engagement. These sources might be state traditions of volunteering, at one time religious attendance, and robust numbers of civic associations that support voting,” Schultz wrote.
Mail-in ballots have been sent to most voters across the state. Election Day is Nov. 6.