How to put your part of this election behind you immediately: A Denverite ballot guide

Stop doom scrolling — start voting.
6 min. read
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Election Day is November 3, and you get to decide everything from who gets to lead our country to whether Denver will allow pit bulls. And we and our friends over at Colorado Public Radio are here to help.

CPR's covered the statewide stuff. We're all Denver. Seriously! Keep reading.

?️ How to vote

If you are registered, your ballot should be either in the mail or in your hands soon; track it here. Oct. 26 is the last day you can mail in your ballot. If you would rather vote or drop off your ballot in person, type your address here to find the closest drop box and election site.

If you are not registered, you have until 7 p.m. Election Day to do so. Thanks, Colorado!

*All ballots are due at 7 p.m. Nov. 3.*

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❓ What you're voting on in Denver

Judges. Many, many judges.

Colorado's Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation says every judge up for retention on Denver's 2020 ballot "meets performance standards," meaning they think everyone deserves to be reinstalled. If that's not enough to satisfy your curiosity, Kevin looked into each local judge up for reinstallment.

? 2A: Sales tax increase to fight climate change

This measure would increase sales taxes by .25 percent to raise money to combat climate change, including training people for careers in clean energy industries and taking steps to improve the energy efficiency of homes. An office of climate action, sustainability and resiliency and a citizen's sustainability committee are to oversee spending, and investments are to be maximized in "communities of color, under resourced communities, and communities most vulnerable to climate change."

Here's more info from us on 2A.

⛺ 2B: Sales tax increase to fund services for people experiencing homelessness

This measure would increase sales taxes by .25 percent to raise money for services for people experiencing homelessness, such as building housing and improving shelters by expanding their hours and ensuring that more substance abuse counseling and other support is provided.

Here's more info from us on 2B.

?‍? 2C: Letting city council procure professional services

If you bubble in "yes," you're voting to explicitly empower city council to hire outside experts using its annual budget -- without approval from the executive branch. If you bubble in "no," you're voting to keep the city charter silent on this specific issue.

Here's more info from us on 2C.

? 2D: Creating a board for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure 

The measure would create a board, comprised of 19 representatives, that would advise DOTI.

Here's more info from us on 2D.

? 2E: Giving city council some say in mayoral appointments

This charter change would let city council members approve or block mayoral appointments, like the chief of police and sheriff, with a majority vote.

Here's more info from us on 2E.

✍? 2F: Removing outdated language from the charter

If you vote for this ballot measure you'll make it easier for city council to call meetings. You, the public, would still be given 24 hour's notice of when the meeting is to occur. The measure would also allow city council and the mayor's office to address outdated language in the city's charter.

Here's more info from us on 2F.

? 2G: Giving city council more control of the budget

If you vote for the measure, you agree that city council should get the power to change the city budget in real time, not just preemptively. The measure would allow council to move money around, but with restrictions. For example, parks money could only be used for parks. Any changes would require a vote of seven council members. if the mayor vetoes a proposal, council would need a super-majority, or nine votes, to override him or her. The manager of finance would also need to give their input on the changes.

Here's more info from us on 2G.

? 2H: High-speed internet

2H asks voters to let Denver spend money on broadband internet services and infrastructure. Currently, state law prohibits the city from investing in such things. The measure does not create a city-sponsored internet provider. Rather, opting out of this state law opens the door for Denver to create one if and when city leaders want.

Here's more info from us on 2H.

☝? 2I: Clerk and Recorder appointments

A yes vote means you support the clerk and recorder getting five political appointments instead of three. A yes vote also means you support removing the director of elections position from the city charter, though that piece is not part of the ballot question.

Here's more from us on 2I.

? 2J: Allowing pit bulls

You're being asked whether you support creating a permit system for pit bull breeds that lets owners register their dogs in Denver. Owners would need to register their dogs with the city, pay a fee, provide the city with an emergency contact, and include a description of the dog and proof of vaccination. If the dog doesn't have any violations for 36 consecutive months, it would be allowed to register in the city like any other dog.

Here's more from us on 2J.

??‍? 4A: Increasing property taxes for teacher raises, more

You're being asked whether you want to raise $32 million by increasing property taxes in the city in 2021 to pay for raises for teachers and  school support staff and to add more mental health clinicians, counselors and school nurses, the latter to help with COVID-19 monitoring.

The increase would mean about $4 more a month for a typical residential property owner in Denver, according to a presentation from DPS.

Here's more from us on 4A.

? 4B: Borrowing money for DPS maintenance

You're being asked whether you want to let the district borrow $795 million and not have the debt repayment exceed $1.5 billion including the principal amount and interest.

The money borrowed must be used for capital improvement projects, like school renovations. Here are some other ways it'll be used:

  • to buy computers for students who need them for remote learning during the pandemic;
  • $2.8 million to upgrade science and computer labs in middle schools (those schools will be determined based on need)
  • $5.9 million to improve school safety by expanding cameras in schools, video analytics, visitor management systems and access control. $3.7 million would go toward information security.
  • $6.5 million would go toward improving and expanding early childhood learning environments.

Here's more from us on 4B.

? How do I find out who won?

We'll be updating Election Day (and beyond) with the latest figures.

?‍♀️ Anything else?

Oh yes! Here are some stories that might be of interest to you, political junkie.

Uncounted votes in Colorado: Diverse areas and younger voters more likely to have ballots rejected

Your mail ballot in Denver just got a first-class upgrade

Here's everything you need to know about signing your Denver ballot so it's not rejected

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