There's Still Time! Your Last-Minute Guide to the Colorado Ballot

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Maybe you've voted and have blinders on to election coverage. Good for you. But maybe you haven't even registered and think it's too late and are tired of the guilt-ridden feeling in your gut every time you see a friend's Instagram story telling you to vote, you lazy millennial.

For the latter bunch, good news: Colorado’s election system is close to lazy-proof and one of the most flexible in the U.S. You can register to vote in Colorado until Election Day. Voting must be done in person for this, but polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on November 6; find polling locations at GoVoteColorado.com.

If you're late to the game, not to fear. Below is a summary of what's on the ballot, and links to our stories. If you've turned in your ballot, rest assured the Denver Elections Division staff is hard at work to make sure all votes are counted (see video above).

Elections are on November 6.EXPAND
Elections are on November 6.

Federal and State Offices

Governor: Governor John Hickenlooper is term-limited (but Hick 2020?), so it's between Democratic candidate Jared Polis and Republican candidate Walker Stapleton. Polis is a U.S. representative and would be the first openly gay governor in American history if he wins, and Stapleton is the state treasurer. The two gubernatorial candidates have debated just a few times...and a certain file cabinet incident came up quite a bit during said debates.

Attorney General: Democratic nominee Phil Weiser is running against Republican George Brauchler in the race for state attorney general. Weiser has clerked for U.S. Supreme Court justices Byron White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Brauchler is an experienced prosecutor and the current head attorney for the 18th Judicial District, a seat he won in 2012.

Secretary of State: Incumbent Secretary of State Wayne Williams is running for re-election, and Jena Griswold is trying to unseat him. Williams is a Republican and former El Paso county clerk, and Griswold is a Democrat, Hickenlooper's former D.C. liaison and the only female statewide candidate in the 2018 general election.

Treasurer: Democrat Dave Young and Republican Brian Watson are competing for Stapleton's position. Young currently represents House District 50 in Weld County, and Watson is the CEO of Denver-based Northstar Commercial Partners.

Jena Griswold, the only female statewide candidate in the 2018 general election, is running to unseat Republican incumbent Wayne Williams for Colorado Secretary of State.EXPAND
Jena Griswold, the only female statewide candidate in the 2018 general election, is running to unseat Republican incumbent Wayne Williams for Colorado Secretary of State.
Courtesy of Jena Griswold

Statewide Issues

Amendment V: A measure that would allow 21-year-olds to run for the Colorado Senate or House.

Amendment W: A measure that would change language for how voters are asked if a judge should be retained.

Amendment X: A measure that would take industrial hemp out of the Colorado Constitution. Critics? Denver marijuana attorney Rob Corry.

Amendments Y and Z: Both Amendments Y and Z attempt to counteract gerrymandering, the increasingly high-profile act of drawing maps to favor a political party or ideal.

Amendment A: A measure that would remove the provision under Article II, Section 26 of the Colorado Constitution that allows for slavery as a punishment. Yep.

Amendment 73: A ballot measure that would change the state’s constitution to increase public funding for education.

Amendment 74: A ballot measure that would change the state's constitution to require compensation for reduction of a property's fair-market value. This measure is almost entirely funded by the fossil fuel industry, and there's strong evidence to suggest it's a direct response to Proposition 112, the setback initiative (more below).

Proponent 112 supporters campaigned at the State Capitol.EXPAND
Proponent 112 supporters campaigned at the State Capitol.
David Sirota

Amendment 75: A ballot measure that would allow candidates for statewide office to increase their contribution limits if their opponents contribute more than $1 million to their own campaigns.

Proposition 109: A ballot measure changing state statutes to authorize bonds for transportation projects. See this.

Proposition 110: A ballot measure that would increase the state sales-tax rate by .62 percent for twenty years, starting January 1, 2019, to fund transportation projects.

Proposition 111: A ballot measure that would cap so-called payday loans by restricting the charges on short-term loans to 36 percent per year.

Proposition 112: A ballot measure that would mandate that new oil and gas development projects, including fracking, be a minimum distance of 2,500 feet from occupied buildings and other vulnerable areas.

Denver Ballot Initiatives

Denver residents get to decide on nine measures that would impact everything from parks to students to mental health to the Office of the Clerk and Recorder...mostly through tax increases.

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