Early numbers in on early voting

A group of prominent Democratic women met Monday at Snooze restaurant on Colorado Boulevard in Denver and then walked across the street to cast early votes at Christ Center Methodist Church. The women voted at the same time on their lunch hour to demonstrate the ease and importance of early voting, either by casting mail ballots or at numerous early-voting centers set up in every county.

Colorado First Lady Jeannie Ritter, standing left, along with former state Sen. Polly Baca and CU Board of Regents candidate Melissa Hart get ballots at the early-voting polling place set up at Christ Center Methodist Church in Denver on Monday.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
Susan Dagget, wife of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, stands at a voting booth at the early-voting polling place set up at Christ Center Methodist Church in Denver on Monday. Dagget had moments earlier cast her ballot but posed for TV cameras near unused voting equipment because poll workers forbade cameras from recording her filling out her actual ballot out of privacy concerns.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien, left, chats with former Colorado First Lady Dottie Lamm at the early-voting polling place set up at Christ Center Methodist Church on Monday.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
From left: Former Colorado First Lady and one-time U.S. Senate candidate Dottie Lamm, Susan Dagget, wife of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien, State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, former state Sen. Polly Baca, CU Board of Regents candidate Melissa Hart, and Colorado First Lady Jeannie Ritter talk politics at Snooze, a Denver restaurant, before walking across the street to cast early voting ballots on Monday.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

Through Monday afternoon, early-vote turnout statewide was 443,611 according to figures released by the Colorado Secretary of State's office. That included 184,982 votes cast by registered Republicans, 159,882 by registered Democrats and 95,926 cast by unaffiliated voters. In a year when American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo is running a close second to Democratic gubernatorial nominee John Hickenlooper, early voting numbers showed returns from a total of 508 ACP members.

Election Day is Nov. 2, and voters who have received, but not yet returned mail ballots by Friday, Oct. 29 — the day early voting concludes — are urged to drop completed ballots off at polling places in their home county.

— By Ernest Luning