COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- El Paso County election officials are expecting record voter turnout on Tuesday and urging those who received a ballot by mail to use a ballot box or voting center to drop-off their ballots.
Nearly 300,000 El Paso County residents have already cast ballots, according to El Paso County Election Clerk Chuck Broerman.
As of Monday afternoon, close to 9,000 people voted in El Paso County in-person, and officials predict that number will dramatically rise on Election Day.
About 450,000 ballots were mailed to El Paso County residents this year. As of Tuesday over 116,000 registered Republicans, about 68,000 registered Democrats, and more than 107,000 unaffiliated voters had voted in El Paso County, according to state voting records.
"In 2016, we had 327,000 people that voted in that presidential election. Now we're just a little under 300,000. We still have a bit of time for people to vote," Election Clerk Chuck Broerman said. "We think we're going to see 60, 75, maybe even 100,000 votes cast here in the last few hours."
El Paso County voters are allowed to surrender their ballots and vote in-person at one of the 35 voting centers, but officials warn there will be long lines on Tuesday.
"Voters that vote in-person, you may have voters in line in front of you and lines will be extremely long, especially in the afternoon," Broerman said.
Voting booths will be sanitized between voters, which is expected to add to wait times.
Nearly 16,000 registered Colorado Democrats and about 35,000 registered Republicans have opted to vote in-person, according to Colorado's Secretary of State.
"Voting in a vote center adds additional logistics, additional staff, labor, rental of the facility, the equipment is very expensive. So it adds significantly to the cost," Broerman said.
Ballots must be received at the clerk's office by 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Postmarks do not count. The polls will also be open until 7 p.m., but everyone in line before 7 will be able to cast a ballot.
El Paso County does not intend to release preliminary election results until the last in-person voter is finished.
"We anticipate that people will wait until the late afternoon and early evening, and we want to make sure that we are respectful of those voters that are in lines or at the polling locations voting," Broerman said. "So, we are going to hold those results until we can finalize our operations at our vote centers."