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'Pick One Or The Other': Sec. Of State Wayne Williams Talks About Historic Primary Election

By Alan Gionet

DENVER (CBS4)- A total of 833,638 ballots are already in across Colorado as of Tuesday morning, the day of the Primary Election.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams told the CBS4 Morning News that those are bigger numbers compared to previous primary elections.

Wayne Williams Secretary of State Control A Clean_frame_8339
CBS4's Alan Gionet interviews Sec. of State Wayne Williams (credit: CBS)

"We've already passed turnout numbers, even if we took out unaffiliated, major party members have voted at higher levels than they have the last two primary elections."

Williams' office says 324,206 ballots have been cast by Democrats, 311,329 by Republicans and 198,130 by unaffiliated voters.

This primary features for the first time in Colorado history, the ability for a unaffiliated voters to cast ballots in Republican or Democrat primary elections.

ballots generic vote colorado election
(credit: CBS)

That turnout among unaffiliated voters has not been stellar, but it is a huge change. It has left some still wondering how it is done.

"You have to pick one or the other," said Williams. "That's the initiative that people of Colorado voted. Which is you must vote either one or the other."

Turning in both ballots means neither will count. The Arapahoe County Clerk's office said this morning 513 ballots had been tossed for just that reason. That represented 2.78 percent of all unaffiliated ballots returned in Arapahoe County so far, so the percentage was low. The Clerk's Office said the percentage was dropping as word got out more.

Wayne Williams Secretary of State Control A Clean_frame_7669
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams (credit: CBS)

Williams pointed out that voters cannot pick one race on one ballot an another race on the other, "If you turn in both, neither will count."

The initiative that changed voting in Colorado, Proposition 108, was believed to hold the chances to drive politics to the middle by allowing people outside the parties a say in their candidates.

PHOTO GALLERY: Colorado Primary Election Day 2018

"I don't know if the returns indicate that yet," said Williams. "We'll have to wait until the votes come. But we do see and increased level of excitement about this primary. That's helped by the fact you have four major candidates in both parties running for governor."

You have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to get your ballot in, or to get to the polls.

LINK: Colorado Ballot Drop Off Locations

ballots generic vote colorado election
File photo (credit: CBS)

Alan Gionet is anchor of CBS4 This Morning and reports on a wide variety of issues and "Good Question" stories. He started at CBS4 in 1994. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanGTV or on Facebook.

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