In ‘Year Of The Woman,’ Did Colorado Women Show Up To Vote?

November 7, 2018
Photo: Election Day 2018 1 | Voters: Nikki Silva - NNavarro
Nikki Silva is 19-years-old this year. It’s her first time voting as she drops her ballot off at the Denver Elections Division.

Colorado saw a historic turnout this year’s midterm election, with more than half of all registered voters turning out to vote.

Unaffiliated voters also made a mark as they cast more ballots than Democrats or Republicans. But one demographic that was expected to turn out big numbers underperformed: Female voters.

Out of the total amount of ballots cast Tuesday night, 51.4 percent were from women. That’s actually 0.4 percent less than 2014’s turnout of 51.8 percent of Colorado women. 

This is in spite of the fact that records were broken nationwide and in Colorado for how many women ran and were elected to office. Sixty-seven women ran for state office here, the most in recent history.

But the number of women running for office didn’t seem to drive more female voters to the polls, Elections Director Judd Choate said.

“You know, sometimes punditry isn’t correct, and this is one of those times,” Choate said.

Despite the strong turnout of unaffiliated voters, who are typically younger, the Colorado youth vote remained stagnant in this year’s election.

“There’s virtually no difference in the age range of voter turnout from 2014 to 2018,” Choate said. “So yes, we saw more unaffiliated, but it didn’t change the age of those people who voted.”

So, Choate attributes the blue wave that swept Colorado Tuesday night to just one thing, and it's not demographics.

“It wasn't the youth, it wasn't women,” he said. “It must have been partisanship."

Editor's Note: The headline for this story was re-written to clarify the topic of discussion from Elections Director Judd Choate's​ appearance on Colorado Matters.