Colorado election 2021 updates: News on statewide measures and Denver ballot items

By: - November 2, 2021 1:57 pm

Hundreds of ballots await signature verification at the Jefferson County elections office on Oct. 21, 2020. (Eli Imadali for Colorado Newsline)

Newsline staff is providing updates and information on statewide ballot measures and other news related to the Nov. 2, 2021 election in Colorado.

All Colorado voters are asked to weigh in on three statewide ballot measures — Amendment 78, Proposition 119 and Proposition 120. Each concerns a matter of fiscal policy. Detailed information on these measures is available in the state Blue Book.

Colorado 2021 election in charts.

Denver voters face 13 ballot measures. Several of the measures concern bonds for major spending, such as for city facilities, homeless shelters, parks, bike and other transportation improvements, and the National Western Center. Other Denver measures concern enforcement of the city’s camping ban, the number of unrelated people who can live together, and how the head of the city’s Office of the Independent Monitor is appointed.

Voters in various Colorado jurisdictions face ballot items of local concern, such as initiatives, city council races and school board races.

Ballots were mailed to voters starting Oct. 8. They can be returned until 7 p.m. Nov. 2. The Colorado secretary of state’s website offers an online tool to help voters find a nearby drop box or voting site. The site also includes links to every county clerk’s office throughout the state. Local county clerk’s offices can also assist voters with questions. In Colorado, residents can register to vote and vote on Election Day.

Voters who mailed in ballots can track the status of their ballot through Colorado BallotTrax.

3 weeks ago

In preliminary results, Boulder voters reject raising residential occupancy limits

By: - 11:08 pm

Based on initial election results, Boulder voters appeared to reject a ballot measure that would have raised the number of unrelated adults who can legally reside in the same home within the city.

As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, the citizen-initiated Ballot Question 300 had received the approval of approximately 41% of voters, while 59% of voters rejected the measure.

Ballot Question 300 aimed to permit one unrelated adult per bedroom in a home, plus one additional unrelated adult. So, if a home had five bedrooms, the measure’s approval would allow six unrelated adults to live in that home. City code currently allows three or four unrelated adults, depending on the area of the city, to live in the same house.

Boulder City Council candidates Lauren Folkerts, Dan Williams, Nicole Speer and Matt Benjamin had endorsed the initiative. At least one of those candidates — Benjamin — appeared likely to win a seat on the Council, based on initial election results.

Read more.

3 weeks ago

Colorado marijuana tax increase proposition fails

By: - 9:42 pm

A statewide proposition that would have increased recreational marijuana taxes in Colorado to pay for out-of-school programming failed.

As of 9 p.m., approximately 54% of voters opposed Proposition 119.

“Colorado voters are really smart. They realize that taking money away from public schools is not the answer for learning. I think they also realize that creating a new, big government bureaucracy that would put the public school money in the hands of private providers is also not the way to go,” said Judy Solano, a former Democratic state representative and retired school teacher who helped lead the opposition.

She said the opposition’s success was the result of a “grassroots effort” against a well-funded campaign in favor of the proposition.

3 weeks ago

Aurora City Council initial election results: Zvonek, Jurinsky lead among at-large candidates

By: - 9:36 pm

Aurora voters are selecting City Council members to represent Wards I, II and III, as well as two at-large members to represent the entire city.

The first batch of election results released Tuesday night showed Dustin Zvonek and Danielle Jurinsky leading among six at-large candidates with 24% and 21% of the early vote, respectively, as of 9 p.m. Tuesday. John Ronquillo followed in third with 18% of early returns.

“I feel hopeful. I feel good,” Jurinsky told Newsline after the initial results were posted. “I feel hopeful for the future of Aurora tonight.”

Ronquillo said he anticipated “a long night.”

In Ward I, incumbent Councilmember Crystal Murillo was in the lead with 51% of the vote as of 9 p.m. Steve Sundberg led early results in Ward II with 49% of the vote, while Jono Scott held the lead in Ward III over opponent Ruben Medina.

Read more.

Last updated: 11:12 pm

3 weeks ago

Denver voters split on Hancock’s $450 million bond package, early returns show

By: - 9:15 pm

Early election results on Tuesday night showed Denver voters overwhelmingly approving four of the five items in the $450 million bond package proposed by Mayor Michael Hancock and city council — but soundly defeating the fifth, which would fund a new arena and other upgrades at the National Western Center.

Referred Questions 2A through 2D, which would fund $260 million in city spending on parks, libraries, homeless services and other programs, were well ahead in the preliminary results released by Denver election officials as of 8:30 p.m.

But the results showed voters were also on track to reject Referred Question 2E, which asked voters to approve $190 million in bonds for new construction at the National Western Center, the rodeo and stock show venue located in north Denver. The measure trailed by a margin of 41% to 59%.

A political action committee, Friends of the National Western Stock Show, formed to support the measure. Donations received by the PAC included a $100,000 contribution from Ronald Williams, a former chair of the Stock Show’s board of directors, according to Axios.

Hancock’s initial proposal for a single $450 million bond question met with resistance from City Council and community members, who questioned the benefits that a large expenditure on National Western Center upgrades would bring to historically disadvantaged neighborhoods like Globeville and Elyria-Swansea.

3 weeks ago

Proposition 120 supporters ‘surprised’ by outcome

By: - 9:11 pm

Supporters of a statewide proposal to cut property taxes say they are surprised by its apparent defeat.

As of 8:50 p.m. on Election Night with 80% of the votes counted, Proposition 120 had about 43% of the vote. It needs 50% approval to pass.

“I’m more surprised by 120. I think there was a lot of confusion after the Legislature passed what they did and it’s different than what the Blue Book said. People probably came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a tax cut for them,” said Michael Fields, who leads the group that led the push for the proposition.

At the end of this year’s legislative session, the Colorado General Assembly passed a bill that would have lessened the effect of Proposition 120’s original intent. Instead of being a tax cut across all types of property, it would be a cut for multifamily residential and lodging properties.

“It’s precedent for the Legislature to meddle in citizens’ initiatives,” Fields said. “But I don’t think the property tax discussion is done at all.”

3 weeks ago

Charts on initial results for statewide and Denver ballot items

By: - 8:55 pm

The Colorado secretary of state and the Denver County clerk and recorder began posting initial ballot tallies after polls closed today at 7 p.m.

Newsline is updating charts that show results for this year’s three statewide ballot measures and 13 Denver ballot items.

See the charts here.

3 weeks ago

Early returns show all three statewide ballot measures trailing

By: - 7:50 pm

Ballot tallies posted after 7 p.m. by the Colorado secretary of state show all three statewide ballot measures behind.

The measures  — Amendment 78, Proposition 119 and Proposition 120 — all concerned a matter of fiscal policy.

  • Amendment 78 would require the Colorado General Assembly to appropriate “all state spending,” including money received from the federal government or through legal settlements.
  • Proposition 119 would fund a $150 million statewide effort to provide tutoring aid to Colorado students by raising the sales tax rate on recreational marijuana from 15% to 20%.
  • Proposition 120 aimed to slash property taxes on homes and businesses.

The closest contest among the three was for Proposition 119, which vote totals showed 54% of voters opposing in early results.

Colorado 2021 election in charts

3 weeks ago

Colorado sees low voter turnout so far

By: - 3:15 pm

Voter participation has been low this year — typical for an off-year election but still behind average pace. 

As of noon on Nov. 2, 961,877 ballots had been cast, according to the secretary of state’s office. That includes 8,311 ballots that were cast in person. It’s a turnout so far of approximately 24.7% of what the state deems active registered voters. 

By this time in 2019, over 1.1 million ballots had been returned.

The partisan breakdown is near-even: approximately 32% of ballots returned are from registered Democrats, 33% are from registered Republicans and 35% are unaffiliated voters. 

Jefferson County has the most ballots returned so far, with 116,150 turned in. Meanwhile, San Juan County, with a population of about 700, has seen just 246 ballots returned. 

Women between 65 and 74 years old have returned the most ballots so far, while women between 18 and 24 years old have returned the fewest.

3 weeks ago

Meet the Aurora City Council candidates

By: - 3:06 pm

The candidates vying for seats on the Aurora City Council come from a range of backgrounds, and they have different visions for the future of Colorado’s third-largest city during a time of local and national upheaval.

Aurora voters in Wards I, II and III will each elect representatives. The entire city will elect two at-large positions on the Council, which features a total of 10 seats.

Read more.

3 weeks ago

13 measures face voters on Denver’s crowded ballot

By: - 2:18 pm

Hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure investments, high-stakes housing policies and the future of the Park Hill Golf Course property are among the issues that voters in the Mile High City will weigh in on today.

Among several big-ticket bond measures, the largest is Referred Question 2E, which would spend $190 million on upgrades to the National Western Center, including construction of a brand-new arena. Another large measure, Referred Question 2A, would provide $104 million for a variety of upgrades and maintenance projects at Denver libraries, museums and entertainment venues.

Other questions concern the city’s camping ban and sales tax measures.

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3 weeks ago

Coloradans to vote on three statewide fiscal measures

By: - 2:09 pm

While off-year elections typically center on local races and ballot issues, Colorado’s 2021 Coordinated Election on Nov. 2 will put three questions to voters statewide:

Amendment 78: Would require the Colorado General Assembly to appropriate “all state spending,” including money received from the federal government or through legal settlements

Proposition 119: Would fund a $150 million statewide effort to provide tutoring aid to Colorado students by raising the sales tax rate on recreational marijuana from 15% to 20%.

Proposition 120: Aims to slash property taxes on homes and businesses, though a bill passed by the Colorado General Assembly in the final days of the 2021 legislative session dramatically limited the proposition’s impact.

Read more.

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