Denver Referred Question 2H: The one about moving the municipal election date

A Denverite votes at Denver Elections Division on Election Day, May 7, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A Denverite votes at Denver Elections Division on Election Day, May 7, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

🗳️ Denver Election Guide 2021: Links to info about ballot initiatives in Denver and Colorado, school board candidates and general voting questions are all right here.


This proposal considers moving the city’s municipal elections a month earlier. These elections take place every four years, and they decided the city’s mayor, city council members, auditor, and clerk and recorder. Municipal elections in Denver take place in May, with a runoff election in June.

Here’s the language you’ll see on the ballot:

Shall the Charter of the City and County of Denver be amended to move the general election for the City and County of Denver from the first Tuesday in May of odd-numbered years to the first Tuesday in April of odd-numbered years to bring the City and County of Denver into compliance with federal and state laws for mailing June runoff election ballots to military and overseas citizens forty-five days before Election Day?

How would it work?

By voting yes on 2H, you are saying you’re okay with moving the city’s municipal elections from May to April. Runoff elections would still take place in June.

Who’s for it and who’s against it?

The proposal was one of two options presented by Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul López after some planning; the other option being ranked-choice voting, though that option wasn’t favored by city council members.

The reason López sought to change the city’s municipal election date is due to the limited time between the May election and June runoff. The roughly 30-day window between the two makes it tricky for Denver Elections-the office responsible for overseeing elections-to prepare new ballots for military and overseas voters.

Th reason behind moving the election up a month, the office will have more time to prepare the additional ballots and be in compliance with state and federal laws for the runoff, ensuring voters outside the city still get a say in elections in Denver.

Denver Elections records show no current organized opposition or support group, or campaign for this measure.

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