Election 2018 Politics Tech

Colorado Ballot 2018: What Every Voter Should Know

Colorado Ballot 2018: What Every Voter Should Know

We break down the 13 initiatives on the poll this yr, so you possibly can give attention to rocking the vote.

By Haley Grey | October eight, 2018

There are 13 statewide proposals on this yr’s poll, and your selections might change Colorado eternally (no strain!). To make your job as straightforward as potential, pricey voter, we broke down each initiative—don’t fear, we’ll be temporary—to let you already know what you’ll see, what every poll query means, and who’s lending help or opposition.

Registered voters will obtain their ballots within the mail this month (they’ll be mailed between October 15 and 19). Election day is Tuesday, November 6. Get your poll to the County Clerk by mailing forward of time or dropping it off at your polling location (discover it right here). The deadline is 7 p.m. on election day; don’t overlook your coveted “I Voted” sticker.


The Amendments

Modification A

What you’ll see: “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime and thereby prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude in all circumstances?”

What it means: Presently, the state structure permits slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for convicted criminals. If handed, this modification would strike that. A sure vote would ban slavery and indentured servitude as punishment for convicted criminals.

Who’s for it: The measure was sponsored by State Rep. Jovan Melton (D-41), Rep. Joseph Salazar (D-31), Sen. Angela Williams (D-33), and Sen. Larry Crowder (R-35). It’s backed by progressive multi-faith group Collectively Colorado.

Who’s towards: Principally, nobody.

You must know: An modification with the identical purpose appeared on the 2016 poll and failed. Proponents level to complicated poll language, however hope they’ve gotten it proper this time. This yr, a sure vote on Modification A would amend the state structure to ban slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a criminal offense.


Modification V

What you’ll see: “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning a reduction in the age qualification for a member of the general assembly from twenty-five years to twenty-one years?”

What it means: Presently, it’s a must to be 25 years previous to serve within the state legislature (also called the Common Meeting). If handed, Modification V would decrease the age requirement to 21 years.

Who’s for it: Modification V is a bipartisan initiative, sponsored by Michael Merrifield (D-11), Vicki Marble (R-23), Jovan Melton (D-41), and Kevin Van Winkle (R-43). New Period Colorado, a nonprofit that encourages higher political participation amongst younger individuals, additionally helps the modification. Government Director Lizzie Stephan summed it up for Colorado Politics, saying, “Lowering the required age for the legislature sends a message to young people across Colorado: We value your input, your perspective is missing from the conversation, so if you’re ready to lead, throw your hat into the ring.”

Who’s towards: Registered opposition consists of Douglas Bruce, the famed Colorado political iconoclast from Colorado Springs behind the Taxpayer’s Invoice of Rights (TABOR). Twenty-four Republican legislators and two Democratic legislators voted towards placing the modification earlier than voters.

You need to know: Colorado is amongst seven states which have age necessities for state legislators at 25 years or older, based on the Nationwide Convention of State Legislatures.


Modification W

What you’ll see: “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning a change in the format of the election ballot for judicial retention elections?”

What it means: This can be a small change relating to poll formatting. Per the state structure, Colorado voters approve the retention of justices on the Colorado Supreme Courtroom and Colorado Courtroom of Appeals one query at a time. As an alternative of rewriting the query of retention for every justice on the poll, if handed, Modification W would permit county clerks and the secretary of state to write down the query as soon as for every place, adopted by the justices’ names with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ packing containers by every (see instance under).

Who’s for it: The workplace of the Colorado Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, and the Colorado County Clerks Affiliation initiated the change by way of the Common Meeting, which has the authority to refer measures to the poll. “[Amendment W] is intended to shorten and simplify the ballot,” stated Colorado Rep. Pete Lee (D-18).

Who’s towards: Opposition is extraordinarily scant. Once more, TABOR creator Douglas Bruce has registered as opposition to this measure.

Supply: Colorado Division of State.

Modification X

What you’ll see: “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning changing the industrial hemp definition from a constitutional definition to a statutory definition?”


What it means: At present, industrial hemp is outlined within the Colorado Structure underneath Modification 64 as a genus of hashish with THC content material lower than zero.three % of the substance’s dry weight, the identical definition underneath federal regulation. If handed, Modification X would take away the definition of commercial hemp from the state structure, in order that it might as an alternative be outlined by state statute (state legal guidelines outdoors of the structure), that are extra simply modified.

Who’s for it: This referral from the Common Meeting was sponsored by State Sen. Stephen Fenberg (D-18), State Sen. Vicki Marble (R-23), State Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Four), and State Rep. Lori Saine (R-63). Ballotopedia stories the next rationalization from Sen. Fenberg: “There’s an expectation that federal law is going to loosen and now permit hemp cultivation. Since we define the THC level in our constitution, we wouldn’t be able to make nimble changes to make it consistent with federal law in the future. So, if the measure passes on the ballot, then the definition would be in statute instead of constitution and would give the industry more flexibility. If we don’t do this, there’s a good chance our industry will have a disadvantage compared to other states.”

Who’s towards: There’s virtually no opposition. An opposition committee has been registered—referred to as Vote No on Modification X (Maintain Hemp Authorized)—however hasn’t reported any contributions or expenditures. Douglas Bruce additionally opposes X, and state legislators who voted towards it embrace Rep. Paul Lundeen (R-19), Rep. Terri Carver (R-20), Rep. Larry Liston (R-16), Rep. Cole Wist (R-37), and Rep. Yeulin Willett (R-54).

It is best to know: Hemp is used to make textiles, paper, private care merchandise, meals and dietary supplements, and CBD merchandise. Rising industrial hemp has been federally authorized since 2014.

Amendments Y and Z

What you’ll see (Modification Y): “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning a change to the way that congressional districts are drawn…” (It’s very lengthy.)


What you’ll see (Modification Z): “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning a change to the manner in which state senate and state house of representatives districts are drawn…”

What they imply: This pair of amendments would re-write the best way Colorado attracts voting districts after every census by establishing an Unbiased Congressional Redistricting Fee and Unbiased Legislative Redistricting Fee, respectively, which might then be liable for redrawing congressional maps. Modification Y applies to U.S. Congressional districts, Z to state legislative redistricting.

Every fee can be comprised of 12 technocrats—4 commissioners registered to every of the state’s two largest political events, and 4 can be unaffiliated voters. If handed, the qualifications and choice course of for commissioners can be complicated.

The amendments additionally set up particular standards for voting districts, primarily not splitting  “communities of interest” (like ethnic or political communities) and maximizing the variety of politically aggressive districts, vaguely outlined as having the “reasonable potential” for the social gathering affiliation of the district’s consultant to vary at the least as soon as within the subsequent decade. Modification Z provides limiting the splitting of cities for state legislature voting district maps.

Beneath the proposed amendments, the maps can be submitted to the Colorado Supreme Courtroom for evaluation and made public. An excellent-majority of at the very least eight of the 12 commissioners, together with a minimum of two unaffiliated commissioners, should approve the ultimate map.


Who’s for them: The amendments have been sponsored by Colorado Home Speaker Crisanta Duran (D-5) and Minority Chief Patrick Neville (R-45). Registered committee Truthful Maps Colorado revealed an extended listing of endorsing people and organizations, together with the Pueblo Chieftan, Denver Publish, and former Colorado governors Invoice Ritter (Democrat) and Invoice Owens (Republican).

Who’s towards: Douglas Bruce has registered as opposition.

You need to know: There are extra unaffiliated voters in Colorado than registered Democrats or Republicans, although all three teams are pretty shut in quantity. These days, unaffiliated voters are leaning blue. The 2 largest political events within the state are Democrats and Republicans by a landslide. No, the Libertarian social gathering doesn’t even come shut.

Photograph by woodleywonderworks. Flickr by way of Artistic Commons

Modification 73

What you’ll see: “Shall state taxes be increased $1.6 billion annually by an amendment to the Colorado Constitution and a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning funding related to preschool through high school public education…”

What it means: This initiative would improve funding for P-12 schooling in Colorado by way of a posh combination of raised taxes (a tax bracket system) aimed toward deeper pockets. It might improve revenue tax for these incomes greater than $150,000 per yr, improve the company tax revenue fee, lower the residential property tax evaluation fee levied by faculty districts to 7 % (down from 7.2), and reduce the evaluation fee for many nonresidential properties to 24 % (down from 29). Discover an evidence of how this tax might have an effect on you right here.


Who’s for it: Registered committee Nice Faculties, Thriving Communities backs it, funded primarily by schooling skilled associations, together with academics’ unions. The committee lists Colorado PTA, NAACP, and Padres y Jovenes Unidos amongst endorsers.

Who’s towards: Ballotopedia reviews the TABOR Basis, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Libertarian-leaning assume tank the Independence Institute, and quite a few realtor and development teams oppose 73. The Denver Submit revealed an editorial in opposition, saying that as Colorado’s financial system booms, so too will tax income, even when factoring in TABOR’s authorities spending limits. “Amendment 73 is a sizeable and complicated tax increase that would be added to the state constitution where it would be difficult to fix should it not work as proponents intend it to,” the editorial board writes.

You need to know: Colorado spends about $9,733 per pupil per yr, about $three,000 lower than the nationwide common over $12,526, in accordance with a research by Schooling Week.

Photograph courtesy of WildEarth Guardians, Flickr by way of Artistic Commons

Modification 74

What you’ll see: “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution requiring the government to award just compensation to owners of private property when a government law or regulation reduces the fair market value of the property?”

What it means: If handed, Modification 74 would require state and native governments to compensate personal property house owners if their legal guidelines or laws lowered the “fair market value” of the house owners’ property.


Who’s for it: The marketing campaign in favor of Modification 74 (and in opposition to Proposition 112, additionally on the poll this yr) is backed to the tune of greater than $25 million by highly effective oil and fuel pursuits, resembling Anadarko and Noble Power, by way of the committee Shield Colorado. It’s additionally backed by the Colorado Farm Bureau.

Who’s towards: Just about everybody else. Opponents worry the requirement might basically change how native governments function and cross on monumental prices to taxpayers, as a result of nearly all personal property worth is affected by routine authorities motion. Opposition is widespread amongst municipal governments and conservation teams, together with the Denver Metropolis Council, Membership20, the Colorado Municipal League (an affiliation of greater than 200 Colorado municipalities), Conservation Colorado, and the Sierra Membership of Colorado.

You must know: If handed, this modification would make Colorado’s property regulation probably the most excessive within the nation.

Modification 75

What you’ll see: “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution providing that if any candidate in a primary or general election for state office directs more than one million dollars in support of his or her own election, then every candidate for that office in the same election may accept five times the amount of campaign contributions normally allowed?”

What it means: If a rich candidate for a statewide workplace can self-fund their marketing campaign, competing candidates can be permitted to simply accept bigger donations from people, federal PACs and political committees, small donor committees, political events, and companies.


Who’s for it: Former State Rep. B.J. Nikkel (R-49) and former State Sen. Greg Brophy (R-1) sponsored the modification. The Denver Publish revealed an editorial in favor of 75, saying, “Did you know that Colorado campaign finance law allows for millionaires to spend unlimited amounts of their own money on a statewide campaign? And as a non-wealthy person, you must abide strictly by campaign finance law limits, which restricts the amount of money you can raise for your campaign to $1,150 per person? Does that strike you as creating a level playing field?  We don’t think so. We believe that simply allows very wealthy individuals to ‘buy’ their election.”

Who’s towards: The Durango Herald revealed an editorial opposing Modification 75, saying, “What Colorado ought to do—what its future governors and Legislatures ought to do—is fight to limit the contributions that candidates may receive from anyone, including themselves—and take that fight all the way to the Supreme Court, if they must.”

It is best to know: Jared Polis, the Democratic candidate for governor, has contributed about $18 million of his personal tech fortune to his gubernatorial run this yr, which is greater than the full spending of competing candidates within the 2014 gubernatorial election, in accordance with Colorado Public Radio. Discover present marketing campaign donation limits for state workplaces right here.

Colorado’s scenic Million Greenback Freeway. Courtesy of flamouroux, Flickr by way of Artistic Commons.

The Propositions

Proposition 109

What you’ll see: “Shall the state debt be increased $3.5 billion, with a maximum payment cost of $5.2 billion, without raising taxes or fees, by a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes requiring the issuance of transportation revenue anticipation notes…”

What it means: This initiative would create $three.5 billion in bonds to fund as much as 66 particular statewide transportation tasks (listed right here)—assume street upkeep and repairs and bridge enlargement, upkeep, and repairs. Proposition 109 requires that the state repay the debt from the overall fund (the federal government’s present money) with out elevating taxes.


Who’s for it: Colorado Springs-based registered committee Repair Our Rattling Roads is behind the proposition, with the help of Libertarian-leaning assume tank the Independence Institute. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers helps it, as quoted within the Colorado Springs Gazette: “[Proposition 109] spends $35 million a year (over 20 years) to bond $3.5 billion. Why would Colorado Springs vote for [Proposition 110]? (Ed note: More on 110 below.) They could get more money out of a local tax and by voting for Fix Our Damn Roads.”

Who’s towards: Not many. Douglas Bruce and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce are among the many scant opposition.

You need to know: Proposition 110 additionally goals to enhance Colorado roads, however by elevating taxes. In accordance with a report by transportation analysis nonprofit TRIP, 40 % of main city roads and highways in Colorado are in poor or mediocre situation, and 6 % of Colorado’s bridges are structurally poor.  

Proposition 110

What you’ll see: “Shall state taxes be increased $766.7 million annually for a 20-year period, and state debt shall be increased $6 billion with a maximum repayment cost of $9.4 billion to pay for state and local transportation projects…”

What it means: Proposition 110 would additionally create funds for transportation tasks (in contrast to 109, it doesn’t specify these tasks). In contrast to 109, it will additionally increase taxes—particularly, the state gross sales tax fee would improve by zero.62 % from 2.9 % (2018) to three.52 % for 20 years, beginning on January 1, 2019, by way of January 1, 2039. It will authorize $6 billion in bonds to fund transportation tasks. Forty-five % of income from this tax would go to the state for transportation tasks, together with debt reimbursement; 40 % to native governments; and 15 % can be allotted for multimodal transportation tasks, like bike paths, sidewalks, and public transit. The state can be permitted to borrow as much as $6 billion for transportation tasks and restrict the whole reimbursement quantity, together with principal and curiosity, to $9.Four billion over 20 years.


Who’s for it: Let’s Go Colorado and registered committee Coloradans for Coloradans are backing the initiative. LGC lists Gov. John Hickenlooper and the mayors of Denver, Boulder, Aurora, Arvada, Lakewood, Littleton, Wheat Ridge, and extra as endorsers.

Who’s towards: Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and Douglas Bruce oppose 110.

It is best to know: Based on a report by transportation analysis nonprofit TRIP, 40 % of main city roads and highways in Colorado are in poor or mediocre situation and 6 % of Colorado’s bridges are structurally poor.  

Photograph by Aliman Senia, Artistic Commons by way of Wikimedia.

Proposition 111

What you’ll see: “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning limitations on payday lenders, and, in connection therewith, reducing allowable charges on payday loans to an annual percentage rate of no more than 36 percent?”

What it means: This initiative would restrict the annual rate of interest on payday loans to a yearly fee of 36 % (it’s at present 45 %) and get rid of all different finance fees and costs related to payday lending.


Who’s for it: Coloradans to Cease Predatory Payday Loans is behind the initiative. Our Revolution, the political group constructed out of Bernie Sanders’ failed 2016 bid for president, endorses 111.

Who’s towards: Simply Douglas Bruce.

It is best to know: Presently, Colorado limits APR (curiosity) on payday loans to 45 %, however permits payday lending corporations to evaluate charges on prime of that. Permitted fees for payday loans in Colorado are as follows: As much as 20 % of the primary $300 loaned, 7.5 % for any quantity loaned above $300, and a month-to-month upkeep charge as much as $30 per thirty days. That’s all along with the mortgage’s curiosity.

Bella Romero Academy in Greeley, Colorado. Photograph by Lisa Gross

Proposition 112

What you’ll see: “Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning a statewide minimum distance requirement for new oil and gas development, and, in connection therewith, changing existing distance requirements to require that any new oil and gas development be located at least 2,500 feet from any structure intended for human occupancy and any other area designated by the measure, the state, or a  local government and authorizing the state or a local government to increase the minimum distance requirement?”

What it means: This may primarily ban new oil and fuel improvement inside a half mile of populated areas, parks, and faculties.


Who’s for it: Colorado Rising for Well being and Security is pushing a grassroots effort to move 112. The Colorado Democrats, Boulder Metropolis Council and County Fee, and Greenpeace are additionally listed as endorsers. Colorado Rising says the idea for the half-mile ban is a 2012 research by the Colorado Faculty of Public Well being that discovered that oil and fuel developments “may contribute to acute and chronic health problems for those living near natural gas drilling sites.”

Who’s towards: Shield Colorado, a registered committee funded to the tune of greater than $25 million by oil and fuel pursuits like Anadarko and Noble Power, is opposing Proposition 112 and supporting Modification 74. Shield Colorado lists amongst opposition to 112 mayors of Denver, Colorado Springs, Windsor, and extra, plus Weld County, the Thornton Metropolis Council, the Colorado Petroleum Council, and extra.

It is best to know: Chad Vorthmann, government vice chairman of the Colorado Farm Bureau—which additionally opposes 112 and helps 74—stated that Modification 74 is meant to guard personal property house owners who can be unable to frack on their land ought to 112 cross. Fracking on the Entrance Vary has been an more and more contentious challenge in recent times.