Denver voters might vote on when they vote for mayor

But first City Council has to vote on it.
2 min. read
Anders O’Toole drops off a ballot at the Central Park Recreation Center on Election Day, Nov. 5, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver voters could get a chance to choose the city's municipal candidates a month earlier if a proposal from City Council ends up on the November ballot.

A City Council committee on Tuesday unanimously forwarded a ballot measure to the full City Council to shift the date of the city's municipal elections from May to April. The elections choose the mayor, city council members, auditor, and clerk and recorder.

Moving the election up a month was proposed by Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul López after nearly a year of planning. López suggested this option will help his office, which oversees elections, better prepare for runoff elections (the other option his office recommended was ranked-choice voting). Right now, if candidates for races don't get a majority of votes during the May municipal election, a run-off election takes place in June. This gives Denver Elections a short window to prepare new ballots for the military and overseas voters.

Moving the election a month ahead would provide more time to prepare for a run-off by changing the city's law requiring it to take place roughly 30 days after the municipal election. The run-offs would still take place in June under the new proposal.

It will be up to the full City Council to decide whether to send the proposal to voters to decide this fall. The measure passed on Tuesday was sponsored by Councilmember Kevin Flynn, who opposed ranked-choice voting as an option. Flynn said the majority of council members supported moving the municipal election date rather than ranked-choice voting, which is why he introduced the bill.

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