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The Power of GOTV

Intense, last minute, get-out-the-vote efforts led by New Era Colorado may have saved the day for proponents of Ballot Issues 2B and 2C.  Early returns showed both measures failing, but as the evening progressed, the margins narrowed until both measures ultimately prevailed.  Here’s how the returns progressed throughout the evening:

Timeline of Ballot Issue 2B returns

Timeline of Ballot Issue 2C returns

Curious that there might be a correlation between late voting and late counting, I asked the Boulder County Clerk’s office if they had any information about which votes were counted when.  According to them, the early returns (7:00 p.m.) were primarily pre-Election Day votes, but not entirely.  Between 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. the returns were a mix of pre-Election Day and Election Day votes.  From 10:00 p.m. on, all of the new returns reported were votes cast on Election Day.

On Ballot Issue 2B, prior to 10:00 p.m. 48.9% of the votes were “For”; after 10:00 p.m., 57.1% of the additional votes counted were “For.”  On Ballot Issue 2C, pre-10:00 p.m. votes were 50.3% “For”; after 10:00 p.m., 58.8% were “For.”

Building on the weeks, months and years of sustained efforts by RenewablesYes volunteers*, New Era applied the last push that put the measures over the top.  According to New Era Executive Director Steve Fenberg, in the 72 hours prior to the election they made 15,000 voter contacts.  On Election Day, they had 65 people making phone calls, knocking on doors, and picking up ballots from people who were sick or unable to make it to the drop off centers.  Many of those volunteers worked up until 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday.  Pitching in with New Era were folks from RenewablesYes, Boulder Clean Energy Business Coalition, and “countless other committed individuals.”

“It really was a great ‘community coming together’ moment yesterday,” said Fenberg.

Correction:  this sentence was changed to remove the organization name Clean Energy Action