December 2014
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Friday, December 19, 2014

The Vote by the Numbers

In past years, local newspapers such as the Berthoud Recorder have been able to report the numbers of voters and how the community voted on particular issues and candidates. Precinct voting made sure ballots cast in Berthoud were Berthoud votes. But things are not that simple this year. Thad Pawlikowski, data analyst with Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Elections Office explained that of the three voting methods – Election Day in-person at vote centers, mail-in, and early voting – each typically accounts for one-third of the votes cast. However, this year saw a significant change in that pattern with numbers coming in at 60 percent mail-in, 23 percent Election Day in-person at vote centers and 17 percent early voting. This is also the second presidential election conducted through vote centers. Previously when votes were cast in local precincts, reporting was a direct reflection of that particular community or neighborhood. Larimer County voters may cast ballots at any of the voting centers around the county, which could mean students living in Berthoud, but attending college at Front Range, voted in Fort Collins. Or, some who live in Loveland but find lunchtime voting in Berthoud more convenient to the workplace, may vote here in town. In fact, a total of 553 voters cast their ballots at the Wayside Inn voting center. So, while this paper, and its predecessor The Berthoud Bulletin, has in the past blazed the results of the election and “How Berthoud Voted”, as of press time for this election, reports still do not provide a breakdown of how the Town voted and whether it was significantly different from national or state level elections.

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