Above average voter turnout in Loveland

LOVELAND – Voter turnout in Loveland was nearing the 50 percent mark by mid-day Tuesday as residents chimed in on a ballot that included a measure to place a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in that city.

Of 45,000 ballots mailed to voters in Loveland, about 18,000 had been either mailed in or dropped off as of noon, Jeannie Weaver, Loveland’s deputy city clerk, said Tuesday. Voters have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to drop off ballots.

The percentage of eligible voters in Loveland that have turned in ballots so far is higher that the state average of about 30 percent for this mid-year election.

The ballot measure has been politically charged.

Proponents of the moratorium want more time to study the impacts of fracturing on human health and property values.  Hydraulic fracturing is an oil and natural-gas drilling technique that involves pumping water, sand and chemicals deep underground to retrieve oil and gas from tight shale formations.

Loveland also has a contingent of oil and gas supporters, led by former Loveland state Rep. B.J. Nikkel, founder of the Loveland Energy Action Project.

“I think we’re going to have a good show of support,” Nikkel told BizWest earlier this month. “We’ve got a lot of individuals and businesses behind us.”

Nikkel said 52 oil and gas companies provide 500 jobs in Loveland. 

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