Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz defended his right to send ballots to “inactive voters” this year over the objections of Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Ortiz told the Colorado Independent he believes his main objective as clerk is to facilitate participation in elections and, on that score, he has succeeded. As of Monday night, 16 percent of the county’s roughly 17,000 inactive voters had cast ballots. That’s 2,700 votes, nearly 9 percent of all votes cast in the county, which is a lot of votes.
“This means that Pueblo[‘s] [inactive] voters responded and will have a significant impact on this year’s election,” Ortiz said. “The bottom line is that all registered voters had the opportunity to cast a vote. And the more people who participate, the stronger our community.”
Ortiz reports that the largest percentage of inactive voter ballots is coming from hard-pressed Pueblo County District Two, where roughly 700 inactive voters cast ballots, which is 23 percent of the votes cast in the district.
“That’s the way it is across the state,” Ortiz told the Independent. “That’s what they found in Denver, too. Many inactive voters reside in economically challenged areas.”
An inactive voter in Colorado is one who is legally registered but who has failed to cast a vote in the previous general election.