Denver Election Results: Voters Saying Yes to Almost Everything

Three examples of problem sidewalks, as shared by the Denver Streets Partnership in 2021.
Three examples of problem sidewalks, as shared by the Denver Streets Partnership in 2021. Denver Streets Partnership
While statewide results for the November 8 election included some surprises, the outcomes of Denver-specific ballot measures were more consistent. While the count isn't complete, Mile High City voters appear to have approved seven of eight questions, issues or ordinances, with the only clear failure a proposal that called for landlords to fund legal representation for those in danger of eviction.

The figures presented by the Denver Elections Division were last updated at 11:30 p.m. yesterday, and some shifts are likely. However, only a couple of the margins are tight — most notably on a proposed fix for Denver's crumbling sidewalks.

Five of the proposals are definite winners: Referred Question 2I, which will increase taxes to help fund the Denver Public Library; Referred Question 2J, which will allow the city to keep and spend money from its .25 percent climate-action sales tax to address climate change; Referred Question 2K, which will let Denver do the same with funds from its .25 percent homelessness resolution sales-and-use tax; Referred Question 2L, which deals with changes to the way the city puts initiatives on the ballot; and Initiated Ordinance 306, which would authorize a composting-and-recycling program for apartment buildings, condominiums, workplaces and the like.

In contrast, Initiated Ordinance 305, which would have charged landlords a $75 fee per unit to, among other things, "establish, run and fully fund a program to provide legal representation to tenants who face the loss of housing in eviction and administrative proceedings," is definitely going down. Under 40 percent of the votes counted thus far back the concept.

The vote is much closer for Initiated Ordinance 307, which asked voters to "adopt an ordinance to create a sidewalk master plan and to implement a sustainable program for the construction, reconstruction, and ongoing repairs of sidewalks citywide" to be funded by a tax on property owners. In an interview with Westword, Jill Locantore, executive director of Denver Streets Partnership, which supports the concept, noted that fees would be set at $2.15 per linear foot of property frontage for most residential areas, $2.87 for parkways, $3.58 for mixed-use and other buildings on arterials, and $4.30 for downtown.

Locantore calculated that the owner of a typical single-family home on a local street with a fifty-foot property frontage would pay $107.50 annually, or around $9 per month — and as of last night, nearly 53 percent of voters were willing to pay that price.

The closest call concerns Ballot Issue 7A, which only affects part of the city and did not appear on all Denver ballots. It would authorize the Valley Sanitation District to "collect, retain and spend any and all amounts annually received from the district's mill levy and any other revenue sources whatsoever" from 2023 onward. The yes votes account for just over 51 percent of the ballots counted thus far.

Here are the vote percentages for the aforementioned eight Denver-specific measures as of 11:30 p.m. on November 8.

Referred Question 2I
Yes/For: 65.38%
No/Against: 34.62%

Referred Question 2J
Yes/For: 69.12%
No/Against: 30.88%

Referred Question 2K
Yes/For: 69.93%
No/Against: 30.07%

Referred Question 2L
Yes/For: 79.67%
No/Against: 20.33%

Initiated Ordinance 305
Yes/For: 39.96%
No/Against: 60.04%

Initiated Ordinance 306
Yes/For: 67.32%
No/Against: 32.68%

Initiated Ordinance 307
Yes/For: 52.81%
No/Against: 47.19%

Ballot Issue 7A
Yes/For: 51.57%
No/Against: 48.43%
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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