Briefline

Here’s how Denver’s ballot measures went over with voters

By: - November 9, 2022 2:36 pm

Voters fill out ballots shortly after 6 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, at the mobile polling location at the Emily Griffith Technical College in downtown Denver. (Quentin Young/Colorado Newsline)

Denver voters had the chance to approve a variety of ballot initiatives relating to evictions, the library, sidewalks and recycling, with all but one question being approved. 

Ballots included four referred questions — which come to the ballot directly from Denver’s city government — and three initiated ordinances — which make it onto the ballot through signed petitions. A smaller group of voters in southwest Denver also had one question relating to mill levy’s for a sanitation district, which was approved. 

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According to Denver’s preliminary election results on Wednesday evening, here’s how the issues stand: 

Initiated Ordinance 305 appears to be the only question that failed, with 59.7% of Denver voters against creating a fee for landlords to provide legal representation to those facing evictions. The fee would have been $75 per year per property, but only 40.3% of voters supported the idea. 

Referred Question 2I, which increases the city’s mill levy rate by 1.5 mills to fund the Denver Public Library system, passed with 65.9% of the vote and 34.1% against. The city’s taxes will increase by $36 million next year with the passage of this question. 

Referred Question 2J, which lifts Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights limits on a 0.25% climate tax Denver voters approved in 2020, passed with 69.5% of the vote and 30.5% against. This allows the city to keep the extra funding the city made from the tax last year.

Referred Question 2K does the same thing but with a tax dedicated to homeless resolution, and it passed with 70.3% of the vote compared to 29.7% against. The city also had extra funding from this tax and can keep it for continued use relating to homelessness. 

Referred Question 2L passed with 79.9% of the vote and 20.1% against. This changes Denver’s election procedures in the city charter to modernize local ballot initiatives, updating some election deadlines and requiring initiatives to have one subject, among other improvements. 

Initiated Ordinance 306 passed with 67.9% of Denver voters in favor of and 32.2% against requiring recycling and composting to be offered by multifamily and non-residential premises, along with proper education materials and instructions in English and Spanish. 

Denver voters also narrowly approved Initiated Ordinance 307, which will create a new tax that allows the city of Denver to regulate and improve sidewalks, with 53.1% voter support compared to 46.9% against. City staff will create a sidewalk master plan and maintain repairs of all sidewalks, while currently property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks adjacent to their homes.

Denver’s clerk and recorder will release additional rounds of updated election results at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday. 

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 9, 2022, to include the latest ballot returns.

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Lindsey Toomer
Lindsey Toomer

Lindsey Toomer covers politics, social justice and other stories for Newsline. She formerly reported on city government at the Denver Gazette and on Colorado mountain town government, education and environment at the Summit Daily News. Toomer graduated from the Pennsylvania State University, where she also served as managing editor of The Daily Collegian, with degrees in journalism and global studies.

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