Now that the final numbers are in, we can follow up our initial reflection on results with a final bit of analysis.
Yawn... wrong again: Virtually everyone predicted low voter turnout due to a uninteresting election. Boy, were they wrong. 80,566 interested Denverites submitted their ballots, representing 42.5% of active voters. That blows away the last Denver campaign without a competitive mayoral election (1999, when just 26% of active voters went to the polls), and begins to approach some of those exciting campaigns that the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News actually covered.
Depends where you are: Even without a serious mayoral contest, some districts showed turnout comparable to 2003. Open seats in Council Districts 7 and 8, for instance, brought 93% and 87% of their 2003 totals. However, a competitive race in Council District 3 (with far less money) earned just over two-thirds of last cycle's voting totals. And interest in Council District 1 declined precipitously, reaching exactly half of the 2003 voters. Guess that proves the old notion: "All politics is local."
None of the above: While there were 80,566 votes in all, not everyone voted in each race on their ballot. Only 79,231 voted in the mayoral race, 71,612 voted for auditor, and 65,270 voted for clerk & recorder. Such disparities are called "undervotes," and generally reflect disaffection with all of the given choices. The results for citywide offices were thus less impressive than generally presented. Stephanie O'Malley was only supported on 63% of the ballots submitted (not 78%); Dennis Gallagher was the darling of 69% (not 78%) ballots; and John Hickenlooper earned the respect of 84.9% voters. Funny, this last figure is virtually identical to the approval rating announced by the mayor's consultants last month.
Let's count that again: The Election Commission's final vote counts generally reflected the same percentages found in earlier returns... with one exception. Somehow, Councilwoman Judy Montero actually lost 78 votes from yesterday to today, going from 2,704 votes to 2,626, while challenger Waldo Benevidez received 7 additional votes. At this rate of decline, Montero could lose the election in less than a month.
Anyone but him: Among the uncontested incumbents, Councilmen Rick Garcia and Charlie Brown were the most disliked, receiving 4.7% and 4.2% write-in votes against them. While that is unsurprising for Garcia, who had an active write-in candidate in Gerald Styron, Councilman Brown's result seems to reflect a more sustained opposition to his politics, as found in both the election results and an earlier Internet poll. Thankfully, Brown's business friends have given him $174,796 reasons to think his seat is safe.
Can't think of anyone but you: In contrast, Councilman Michael Hancock received only 94 votes against him (2%). While write in votes dipped even lower in other races, his was the most impressive performance for an unopposed candidate, and was also reflected in the earlier Internet poll.
Where are you? JoAnn Phillips is going to a runoff in Council District 3, you say? I wonder whether this will finally spur her to get up a campaign website. Out of 29 candidates, she was among only 7 who didn't care to provide such a device for potential supporters. The unopposed Charlie Brown was the only winner among them.
Quick as a cat: The only candidates who have updated their website since Tuesday's election are Chris Nevitt (who asks for your support) and Ike Kelly (who immediately withdrew his campaign site from cyberspace).
MoneyVotes: Now with the final figures for all district candidates for City Council.
Also read our initial reflection on Denver's election results.