Denver’s November 2018 ballot will be its longest ever

Related: Are you registered to vote?

Inside the Denver Elections Division's mobile voting center Haul-N-Votes on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at Civic Center Park in Denver. (Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite)

Inside the Denver Elections Division's mobile voting center Haul-N-Votes on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at Civic Center Park in Denver. (Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Denver voters might feel a heftier package when they receive their mail-in ballots next month. The city sends out its fattest ballot ever.

The six-page ballot will be condensed to three two-sided cards. Denver Elections Division communications specialist Joe Szuszwalak said the ballot for the Nov. 6 election will be the longest in the city’s history.

“The majority of it are those questions and referendums,” Szuszwalak said.

A sample ballot provided to Denverite by the Denver Elections Division shows questions for nine local and 13 statewide referendums take up a bulk of the ballot’s space. Pages 2 to 6 are filled up with language from these ballot initiatives. You can learn more about them with our statewide ballot guide and our Denver initiatives ballot guide.

Denver Elections Divisions spokesperson Alton Dillard said in an email the three-card ballot will mean this year’s ballots will cost $342,600, a $114,200 increase from the more typical two-card ballot. Alton said the money is coming from the city’s existing budget and everyone involved in the budgeting process had been aware of the potential for a three-card ballot since July.

Dillard said another big reason for the lengthy ballot is that Denver provides their material in English and Spanish in compliance with a federal mandate. The city has provided bilingual ballots since early 2000.

“That’s one of the things that adds a bit to the length,” Dillard said. At the bottom of each page is a reminder to vote on all sides. “Hopefully voters will follow those instructions.”

Only the first page has candidates running for state offices like General Assembly or RTD Board of Directors or governor. There’s only one federal race — the 1st Congressional District.

Szuszwalak said ballots will start going out in the mail on Oct. 15. Dillard said voters can expect an information guide (an election blue book) about a week before they see their ballot.

“Everyone that is currently registered will get their ballot that week, that third week of October,” Szuszwalak said. “We’re encouraging folks to make sure they’re registered so they have a chance to get that ballot at home and they can do all their research and take their time.”

Tuesday marked National Voter Registration Day and the Denver Elections Division mobile voting center, Haul-N-Votes, was out at Civic Center Park helping people register to vote and check their registration status. Szuszwalak was out with other members of the elections division staff to put a national spotlight on voter registration.

Colorado has same-day registration, which is great if you’re the procrastinating type and means you can register on Nov. 6.

“But our big push is to get people registered in advance, because if we have that information, we can mail them their ballot,” Szuszwalak said.

The most recently available data shows Denver County has 387,717 active registered voters. The party breakdown leans blue: 187,290 registered Democrats, compared to just 51,624 registered Republican voters.

However, there’s a large chunk of unaffiliated voters in Denver, with 141,683 registered voters falling in this category. The remaining 7,120 voters are registered with other parties including Green and Libertarian.

If you’re unsure about your registration status, the easiest way to check or register is to go to GoVoteColorado.com. You can also stop by the city’s elections division at 200 W. 14th Ave., Suite. 100, in Denver.

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