We were out and about Tuesday, talking to voters and keeping track of Denver’s ballot measures. We’ll continue to update this story with results as they come in.
The Denver Elections division won’t finalize ballot measures until Nov. 19, when all votes are counted. But the city has verified at least one victory; see below.
🐕9:27 a.m. Wednesday — Denver says voters approved a pathway to legalize pit bulls in Denver
The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment announced Wednesday that ballot measure 2J, which creates a permitting system for pit bulls, passed.
“Although the ordinance will not be officially amended until January 1, 2021, Denver Animal Protection (DAP) has established an initial Breed-Restricted Permitting Process based on the amended language to help pit bull owners plan for the changes,” DDPHE wrote in a statement. “It is the responsibility of any new owner of an adopted breed-restricted animal to contact DAP to initiate the provisional permitting process. Information on how to schedule an assessment after January 1 through Denver Animal Protection will be posted on the site shortly; no appointments for assessments are being scheduled at this time.”
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. There is a limit of two dogs per household. 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.
The Denver Elections office won’t announce ballot winners until Nov. 19, when all votes are counted.
10 p.m. — Which ballot measures are leading in Denver
The ballot measures below have a comfortable lead (over 65 percent of the vote) as of 10 p.m.
✅ 2D, which creates a community oversight board for the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, has about 76 percent of the vote
2D would give the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure a board of civilians to watch its every move.
2D was proposed by the former chair of Parks and Recreation’s oversight board. Leslie Twarogowski said the Parks department has benefitted from regular contact with regular people. She said the board helps maintain accountability for projects that span multiple mayoral administrations and helps remind officials how their work impacts residents.
Twarogowski thought DOTI, which works on sidewalks and roadways and sometimes enforces tent encampment cleanups, could also use regular communication with the public. She brought the idea to Councilwoman-at-large Debbie Ortega, who put it on the ballot.
There was no opposition to the measure. Board members will volunteer.
-Kevin J. Beaty
✅2F, which removes outdated language from the city charter, has about 85 percent of the vote
The city charter, Denver’s constitution, is pretty sacred. The document lays out a slew of things, from what the city considers a nuisance to when city council can meet.
The latter is where 2F comes in.
The measures makes 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 also allows city council and the mayor’s office to address outdated language in the city’s charter.
✅2H, which allows Denver to enter the internet business, has about 83 percent of the vote
2H allows Denver to spend money on broadband internet services and infrastructure. It exempts Denver from a state law preventing cities from getting into the business of broadband.
The measure does not create a city-sponsored internet provider (also known as municipal broadband), but it does open the door for Denver to create one if and when city leaders want.
✅ 4A, which increases property taxes for teacher raises, has about 74 percent of the vote
The property tax increase will help pay for raises for Denver Public School teachers and staff.
The money ($32 million) will be used for things like cost-of-living raises for teachers and increasing minimum-wage pay for school support staff, as well as hiring mental health clinicians, school counselors and school nurses. Those new positions will also help with COVID-19 monitoring in the district.
The money will also help restore pay that had to be frozen or was decreased due to pandemic cuts from the state.
This measure was forwarded onto the ballot by the Denver school board in August, based on the recommendations of a 75-member committee including teachers, parents and students that met over a five-month period. 4A was supported by the DPS teacher’s union, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and Denver Democrats. The Denver Republican Party opposed it.
-Esteban L. Hernandez
✅ 4B, which borrows money for DPS maintenance, has about 80 percent of the vote
4B would let Denver Public Schools borrow $795 million to help pay for building maintenance for its schools.
The money also helps pay for a new school, adds air conditioning to 24 schools that don’t have it, helps build a new school in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood, and will go toward the existing Montbello campus. Voters have approved a similar bonding package for schools almost every four years since at least 1998.
The money will also be used to buy computers for students who are remote learning during the pandemic, and millions will be used to upgrade science and computer labs in middle schools. The money also helps the district improve school safety by expanding cameras, visitor management systems and access control in schools. Money will also go toward information security and to help expand early childhood learning environments.
The measure was forwarded onto the ballot by the Denver school board in August, based on the recommendations of a 75-member committee including teachers, parents and students that met over a five-month period. 4B was supported by the DPS teacher’s union, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and Denver Democrats. The Denver Republican Party opposed it.
-Esteban L. Hernandez
7 p.m. — Polls in Colorado are closed! Follow Denver ballot measure results below.
👀6:25 p.m. — Voters are still at it downtown
‼️4:38 p.m. — So we found a Kanye voter
Meet Jimmy Francis.
He and his friends like Kanye, and Francis isn’t big on either candidate. It doesn’t feel like a vote that will hurt Biden or Trump, he said, because of that whole electoral college thing.
“I’d like to see us all come together. There’s an old proverb: put red ants and black ants in a jar, and they get along real well until you shake up the jar and then they kill each other,” Francis said. “And somebody’s shaking up our jar right now.”
👍3:23 p.m. Denver inmates get a chance to vote in person in jail
For the first time, inmates were able to cast their votes in person this election at the Denver County Jail and Downtown Detention Center.
The Denver Sheriff Department partnered with the Office of Clerk & Recorder’s Elections Division, League of Women Voters and the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition to make it happen.
“Enfranchising voters across Denver is our primary concern. We are excited to build on our partnership of offering not just voter registration but voting options for our residents in Denver’s jails,” said Paul D. López, Denver’s Clerk & Recorder.
🎭2:06 p.m. One household, with different political views, in fair Denver, where we lay our scene
🥉 1:13 p.m. — Never forget
🧔🏻 12:58 p.m. — Who is Walter Avko? This is Walter Avko.
Kevin tweets, “Just met Walter Avko, who’s wearing a huge fake beard as he waves a Biden flag on the Hampden Ave bridge over I-25. He said he’s doing this all over town. Lots of honks of approval from passing drivers.”
😲 12:35 p.m. — Denver’s turnout approaches 76 percent
✅ 12:34 p.m. — A newcomer votes ‘late’ in three acts
Donna tweets, “Carlson registered and voted today. She recently moved to CO from IL and had been waiting for her ballot to arrive back in IL.
“When her ballot didn’t show, she looked into whether she could vote in CO. She discovered she could and showed up at Blair Caldwell with ID, a lease and made it happen.
“I’m so happy I was able to,” she said. “I would encourage everyone to vote. It’s so easy to. I went and I registered and I was in and out of here in 25 minutes.”
Hard to believe that voting on Election Day is considered late. But in Denver, the turnout is reaching 76 percent, according to Denver Elections.
🐕 12:16 p.m. — Finnigan can’t vote but Finnigan can wear a sticker
🔌 11:37 a.m. — A voter power stance
I’ve seen a couple of voter power stances. It is a long ballot.
— Kevin J. Beaty
🐕9:21 a.m. — AMA with a dog
🗳️8:46 a.m. — Here’s what the voting center at the Montbello rec center looks like this morning
🧱8:19 a.m. — There’s no evidence that would-be rioters are stashing bricks in downtown Denver
A photo showing a pile of bricks on a downtown Denver corner has been making the rounds on conservative social media pages over the last 24 hours or so.
The post appears to have originated on former MLB player Aubrey Huff’s Instagram page, before migrating across Twitter and Facebook groups. Many commenters appear fearful that would-be rioters are planting them for future use.
But those concerns are unfounded, says a city spokesman.
“So far, no evidence has been found that these bricks have been pre-planted for future use in protests,” said Eric Escudero, Denver Joint Information Center. “Denver requests people to report any suspicious activity to police as we work to maintain public safety.”
Police are investigating, Escudero said. Law enforcement agencies and downtown businesses have been preparing for violence.
In that light, it’s understandable how the brick photo took off on social media even if there’s no evidence behind it. Experts say Americans should practice “emotional skepticism,” when looking at social media content — especially images engineered to reinforce what they already believe. ProPublica has an excellent guide on how to spot and fight election misinformation.
— Nathaniel Minor
🎶7:42 a.m. — ELECTION DAY MARIACHIS
Polls are open and mariachis are out!
🗳️ 5 a.m. — First things first: information you need to vote.
Because no self-respecting Denverite would leave their house without deeply analyzing the weather, expect a high of 74 and lots of sun today.
Here’s where to vote, if you’re an in-person kinda person. (And at this point, you should be — it’s too late to mail in your ballot.)
Denver Elections has this nifty tool that keeps tabs on wait times at different voting centers. Polling places close at 7 tonight.
If you still need to register to vote, start that process here.
Here’s how to pick all those judges.