Colorado ballot measure roundup
There are 11 ballot measures for Colorado voters this year. Here is a roundup of reports from The Associated Press, The Denver Post and The Colorado Sun on where those issues stand as of 8 a.m. Wednesday:
Colorado voters decided they would like to change the Gallagher Amendment and have said yes to changing the property tax assessment rates.
The amendment to the Colorado constitution will repeal the requirement that the general assembly periodically change the residential assessment rate in order to maintain the statewide proportion of residential property as compared to all other taxable property valued for property tax purposes and repeal the nonresidential property tax assessment rate of 29 percent.
Voters were favoring the change 57.47% to 42.54% Wednesday morning.
One of the close ballot questions was the proposition to reintroduce gray wolves to Colorado. The proposition was leaning toward passing, but by barely 1 percentage point. The proposition was leading 50.17% to 49.83%.
The proposition was failing in most of the counties in western Colorado except for Pitkin (62% yes) and Summit (54.3% yes) counties. Counties on the northern Front Range pushed it on the yes vote as well.
If passed, the reintroduction would be on designated lands in Colorado located west of the Continental Divide and require the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission, after holding statewide hearings and using scientific data, to implement a plan to restore and manage gray wolves. It would prohibit CPW from imposing any land, water, or resource use restrictions on private landowners to further the plan and requiring CPW to fairly compensate owners for losses of livestock caused by gray wolves.
Click here to read more about this tight ballot race.
The amendment to have charitable gaming licenses obtained after three years, not five years, was in jeopardy of not passing. While the yes votes were ahead 51.72% to 48.28%, it is one of the questions that must have a 55% majority to pass.
The amendment, which states only U.S. citizens over 18 may vote, is up by about 24% of votes in Colorado.
At 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, 62.65% of votes tallied were in favor of the amendment, compared with 37.35% against. About 79% of votes in the race had been tallied.
Federal and state law already dictate that only citizens may vote in federal and state elections, but the amendment would ensure that cities can’t allow non-citizens to vote in local contests.
In addition, it could roll back efforts to expand voting to those younger than 18. Since 2019, 17-year-olds who will turn 18 by the time a general election is held in November have been allowed to vote in party primaries ahead of that general election in Colorado. A bill in the most recent legislative session also would have allowed 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in school board races, but it never got to the floor.
It’s not clear if the amendment would override local control in cities with home rule.
It looks like the voters in Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City will be able set the single-bet limits and the games that can be played at Colorado casinos.
The amendment, which went to state voters, was ahead nearly 59.77% to 40.23%.
Colorado voters overwhelmingly are in favor of a tax on smoking and vaping products for education and health programs. The state sales tax will collect up to $294 million annually, and it was leading 68.08% to 31.92%.
A ballot measure that would enter Colorado into a pact with 14 other states and Washington, D.C., to assign the state’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote for president was leading Wednesday but the margin tightened as votes were counted.
With 79% of the vote tallied, Proposition 113 was leading with 52.39% support.
State lawmakers passed a bill in 2019 putting Colorado in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, but that decision was challenged by a citizen initiative that put the final decision in voters’ hands this fall. A “yes” vote on Proposition 113 keeps the state in the compact while a “no” vote maintains the system Colorado has used for decades to choose a president: The candidate with the most statewide support receives all of Colorado’s electoral votes.
Colorado currently has nine electoral votes but is likely to pick up at least one more once the 2020 Census is complete.
A measure that would ban abortions in Colorado after 22 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, failed.
Both supporters and opponents of Proposition 115 had predicted a tight battle over what supporters of the ban call “late-term abortion,” but opponents declared victory about an hour after the polls closed.
“We voted no because we trust patients and families to make the personal medical decisions that are right for them, without political interference,” Vote No on 115 campaign manager Lucy Olena told the Colorado Sun. “We voted no to keep Colorado a safe haven for abortion access because no one should have to cross borders to get the medical care they need.”
The measure went down 40.93% to 59.07%, according to unofficial returns but with about 79% of the vote tallied.
Coloradans have swiftly defeated three other ballot measures since 2008 that attempted to define a fetus as a person under the criminal code, but this question is different, targeting the point in pregnancy at which a fetus might survive outside the womb.
Click here to read the full story about Proposition 115 getting voted down.
Coloradans are in favor of reducing the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%. In the results updated Wednesday morning, the proposition was leading 56.99% to 43.01%.
The proposition, which is a voter approval requirement for creation of certain fee-based enterprises, looked like it was on its way to passing. It was ahead 52% to 48%.
This would add a new TABOR-like provision to state law, requiring the state government to get voter permission before it creates major new “enterprises,” which are partially funded by fees.
Voters appeared to accomplish Tuesday what Colorado Democrats could not for the past six years at the state legislature: a statewide paid-leave program for workers who want time off to have a baby or care for a sick loved one.
The ballot measure was passing 58.1% to 42.9% according to early unofficial returns and 75% of votes tallied. In an update on Wednesday, the measure was passing 57% to 43% with almost 79% of votes tallied. It requires workers and employers to pay into an insurance pool run by the Colorado Department of Labor. Beginning in 2024, workers could apply to the fund to receive pay during time off from work, up to $1,100 per week.
The program is for all workers, including state employees, people who are self-employed, and even gig workers who drive for Uber or food-delivery companies. Workers are eligible after they’ve earned $2,500 at their job. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees can choose not to participate and companies that already offer comparable paid time off for new babies or illnesses are exempt.
Proposition 118 creates a $1.3 billion program that was hammered by opponents as a tax increase for employers and employees at a time when businesses are struggling. For supporters, though, the message was that there is no time like a pandemic to build a culture where employees get paid time off to care for someone who is ill.
Funding for the insurance pool is a 50-50 split between employee and employer, who each would contribute 0.45% of an employee’s wages.
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Monday was the last day to mail-in a ballot for next week’s election, though ballots can still be dropped off and early voting started Monday.