How can a three-week "election day" influence Colorado's midterms?

Dominic Dezzutti --- CBS Denver

Mail-in ballots were sent to voters throughout Colorado this week triggering our Three Week Election Day.

The calendar may say that Nov. 4 is Election Day, but Colorado voters have already begun placing their votes and will continue to do so for the next 19 days.

This is pretty elementary knowledge to most of us at this point. But the ramifications are considerable for Colorado.

First of all, this is one of the key reasons that major campaigns are becoming more and more expensive in our state.

Campaigns must treat each day of these three weeks as the sprint to the finish line. The best ads, the highest degree of rotation and maximum get-out-the vote strategies must be employed not for one day, but for nearly 20. To fund an effort like that is not cheap.

The fact that more money is needed for our extended Election Day will likely affect many facets of Colorado politics, starting with the kind of candidates that can run in here in the future.

Not every candidate can raise and attract the kind of money that is required to maintain a campaign that must be run in Colorado. Candidates who know they will need that kind of money will need to not only attract big time funders, but also need to tap into the party machinery.

The only voices that will truly be able to mount that kind of campaign will not be upstart independent, moderate voices. They will be proven party loyalists that can show funders that winning is possible.

Secondly, our extended Election Day has the distinct potential of creating serious voter fatigue.

Election ads started for Colorado voters way back in July. But ads are only one part of the equation. Phone calls, home visits and multimedia saturation intensifies in late October.

Some campaigns are savvy enough to keep up to date tabs on who has voted, so some of the phone calls and visits stop once a ballot is placed.

However, that is not the common case, and it only helps those who choose to place their ballot relatively early in the process. Not all of the debates are over and frankly, some people like to see how the entire season will roll. For those people, a three week Election Day can easily cause serious cynicism and with that, a desire to simply check out.

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