With no statewide ballot issues, the election in Colorado yesterday, November 7, was hyper-local, with voters determining the fate of proposals that will directly impact them. Here are the latest numbers for Denver and other municipalities in the metro area with regard to the biggest issues.
The most sweeping package before Denver voters was the so-called GO Bond. In their 2017 election voters' guide, Westword's Ana Campbell and Alan Prendergast note that the compendium was "billed as 'a plan to repair and improve Denver’s infrastructure'" that was "broken up into seven categories, labeled 2A through 2G: transportation and mobility systems; cultural facilities, which include the city’s biggest museums, the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Zoo and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Denver Health, which would get a $75,000,000 outpatient ambulatory center; the public-safety system, which would improve and replace some police headquarters and fire stations; libraries; parks and recreation; and the public facilities system. They are listed individually on the ballot, so that voters can pick and choose."
True enough — but all seven of the questions passed by similarly wide margins. The most recent numbers as of this writing are below:
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Referred Question 2A
YES/FOR — 72,357 votes
NO/AGAINST — 25,768 votes
Referred Question 2B
YES/FOR — 67,047 votes
NO/AGAINST — 30,016 votes
Referred Question 2C
YES/FOR — 65,732 votes
NO/AGAINST — 31,643 votes
Referred Question 2D
YES/FOR — 69,482 votes
NO/AGAINST — 28,771 votes
Referred Question 2E
YES/FOR — 69,587 votes
NO/AGAINST — 28,804 votes
Referred Question 2F
YES/FOR — 69,757 votes
NO/AGAINST — 27,950 votes
Referred Question 2G
YES/FOR — 64,311 votes
NO/AGAINST — 32,645 votes
Also on the ballot was Referred Question 2H, which called for the Denver Department of Environmental Health's name to be altered to the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment. In addition, the measure increased the agency's board from five members to nine. Voters were okay with that:
Referred Question 2H
YES/FOR — 62,839 votes
NO/AGAINST — 31,528 votes
Finally, there was Initiated Ordinance 300, pushed by the Denver Green Roof Initiative. The proposal "would require that buildings in Denver larger than 25,000 square feet install 'green roofs,' which incorporate vegetation or solar panels to mitigate climate change and pollution," Campbell wrote. The vote wound up being the closest of any in Denver. At this writing, the "yes" contingent has 50,271 votes, or 52.17 percent, versus 46,084, or 47.83 percent. With 100 percent of precincts reporting and 3,242 under votes, that should be enough for the ordinance to pass.
The vote regarding four Denver school-board seats up for grabs is accurately described by Chalkbeat's Melanie Asmar, a former Westword reporter, as a "split decision," with two incumbents marching toward victory and two challengers winning as well.
In the at-large board race, former Colorado lieutenant governor Barbara O'Brien, who is in favor of district reforms, is up on union-endorsed Robert Speth. In District 2, reformer Angela Cobián is topping Xóchitl 'Sochi' Gaytán, who won the union's blessing. In District 3, Carrie Olson, a union-backed teacher, is leading pro-reform incumbent Mike Johnson. In District 4, union-supported challenger Jennifer Bacon is besting reform-minded incumbent Rachele Espiritu. See graphics for all of these contests below.
Other major school-board face-offs took place in Douglas County and Jefferson County. Voters in DougCo cast their lot with four candidates — Anthony Graziano, Chris Schor, Kevin Leung and Krista Holtzmann — who oppose the voucher system pushed by previous electees. Their wins will almost certainly lead to a huge shift in position for the board as a whole.
See the latest results below.
A similar turnover in school-board ideology took place in Jefferson County circa 2015. Yesterday, two of the boardmembers under the Keep Jeffco Moving Forward umbrella — Brad Rupert and Susan Harmon — handily won reelection, and their cohort, Ron Mitchell, ran unopposed. The numbers are as follows.
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According to the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, which oversees elections here, voter turnout was modest, if perhaps not as low as some observers anticipated. At this writing, the office has registered 1,117,544 ballots cast across the state out of an overall registered-voters pool of 3,602,415.
That translates to 31.02 percent participation.
However, the numbers in Denver were below the statewide average. The latest digits show that 99,609 ballots were cast out of a possible 451,316 — a turnout of 22.07 percent.