DENVER – It’s election season again in Colorado, and though this year’s election won’t feature any statewide ballot measures or major congressional races, we’re already nearing the final couple weeks of voting.
Ballots were mailed out in Denver last week, as well as in many other larger counties across the state.
As of Monday, more than 36,000 people had already returned their ballots, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. The office and U.S. Postal Service are asking anyone who will be mailing their ballot back to their county clerk to do so by Oct. 31.
Overseas and military ballots had to be sent out by Sept. 23.
Colorado Republicans have so far returned the greatest share of those ballots: 14,913. Democrats have returned 11,633 ballots and unaffiliated voters have mailed back 9,383 as of Monday.
As of Oct. 1, there were a total of 3.36 million active registered voters in Colorado. More than 1.2 million were unaffiliated, while approximately 1.04 million were registered as Republicans, and another 1.04 million were registered as Democrats.
Six counties won’t have an election this year – Cheyenne, Dolores, Grand Hinsdale, Mineral and Washington counties – and people in those counties won’t be receiving ballots, as there are no contested races or local bond measures on which to vote.
There will also be no statewide ballot issues this year for the first time since 2009, as odd years are usually used to send TABOR matters to voters.
In Denver, voters will be deciding on four Denver Public Schools directors, an initiative that would force new large buildings to install green rooves (which the mayor opposes), and a $937 million general obligation bond package that centers on transportation and mobility.
Those measures include:
- $431 for transportation and mobility projects
- $116.9 million for city-owned cultural facility improvements
- $75 million for a new outpatient center at Denver Health Medical Center
- $77 million for safety facility projects
- $69.3 million for Denver Public Library improvements
- $151.6 million for parks and recreation
- $16.5 million for city-owned facility improvements
Beyond the Denver Health and Denver Public Library projects, some of the largest proposals on the list include $101 million for deferred road maintenance – repaving, curb and gutter repair, bridge rehabilitation, etc. -- $55 million for a bus rapid transit system along Colfax Avenue, $37.5 million for a recreation center in Westwood and $35.5 million to renovate the North Building at the Denver Art Museum.
Douglas County voters will decide on a new school board that is drawing in large amounts of cash from out-of-state because of the district’s voucher program.
Races for the Boulder Valley School District and Boulder City Council are expected to be tight, as an affordable housing measure has brought out significant campaigning from those involved.
In Denver, the Elections Division Voter Service and Polling Center opens Monday, while all polling centers open next Monday, Oct. 30.
The city also has 26 ballot drop-boxes that are open 24 hours a day. Find those and polling centers on a map by clicking here.
If you’re mailing your ballot back in Denver, you can sign up for Ballot Trace to be sure your ballot makes it back to your county clerk in time to be counted.
Colorado voters can register online and at polling centers any day, even on Election Day. You can do so by clicking here. But if you register online or update your registration, you might not get a ballot mailed to you and could have to vote in person.
If you’re mailing your ballot back, it must be in the hands of your county clerk by 7 p.m. on Election Day, which is set for Nov. 7.
You’re advised to have it in the mail before Oct. 31 to ensure it arrives on time.