The General Election in November is now clearly in focus.
This edition of my newsletter is all about the election. Information on who, what, when, where, why and how can all be found below.
It's super easy to register to vote in Colorado. In fact, you can do it
, right now. And we got rid of voter registration deadlines, allowing voters to register up to and the same day as the election. The rules get slightly more complicated the longer you wait, so it's best to do it now and get it taken care of while you can. Update your information if you've changed address or want to change political parties, or simply verify that everything is correct. It's easy!
Here's the one link you need for all your voter registration needs:
MAIL BALLOTS TO ARRIVE NEXT MONTH
In Colorado we all vote by mail, but we have other voting options as well. We've tried to make voting as easy and accessible as possible all while preserving the security and integrity of the election process. Colorado is a national model for ballot access, ease and convenience for voters, and fair and open elections.
If you're an active, registered voter y
ou'll get a ballot mailed to you in middle-late October. Election Day is late this year: November 8. That means all the deadlines seem to fall a little later than usual. Ballots start to go out on Oct. 17, yours may not arrive until the 20th or later. If you don't get a ballot in the mail be sure to contact your County Clerk's office. If you aren't an active voter or aren't registered, do something about that!
There will be lots of places to drop-off mail ballots, saving the stamps and being assured your ballot got turned in. As Election Day gets closer Voter Service Polling Centers will open, you can vote in person. Click here for a list of locations in Denver where you can drop-off or vote in person. Mail it in, drop it off, vote in person, whichever you prefer. Just make sure your voice is heard in this election, and vote the whole ballot!
BALLOT ISSUES ABOUND
If you recall my last newsletter I rattled off some quick thoughts and my position on a number of the ballot issues you'll have to decide. This time, I'll round out the list and dwell on few new topics. But first, a quick recap of what we covered last time:
- Repeal Slavery Exception YES
Amendment U - Possessory Interests Tax Exemption YES
Amendment 69 - ColoradoCare NO
Amendment 70 - Minimum Wage YES
Amendment 71 - Raise the Bar YES
Amendment 72 - Tobacco Tax Increase YES
And here's some new topics I didn't write about last time, plus more details on some I did:
Proposition 106 - End of Life Options YES
Similar to legislation that has been debated the past two years at the Capitol, this measure would place in statute the procedures and protections for physicians and terminally ill patients who wish access to life ending prescription medication. I'm supporting this measure, and I'm glad it's going in statute and not the constitution. If any abuses or problems that opponents are fearful of occur I'm certain the legislature would move statutory solutions or adjustments. Some see this issue as one of morality, dignity or self-determination. Many have deep-rooted opposition, and I respect their position as much as I hope they'll respect mine, and the position of those seeking to avail themselves of this right.
Proposition 107 - Presidential Primary Election NO
This is a case of "right problem, wrong solution." I supported legislation the past two years to restore a Presidential Primary election. Prop 107 is not the way to do it. It's unfortunate this measure has made it onto the ballot without working through its many complications and objections, some partisan, and some quite valid. There's still time for the legislature to address this before the next cycle in 2020; reject this poorly-presented measure and let's keep trying.
Proposition 108 - Open Primary Elections NO
This measure allows unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections. This same policy is embedded in Prop 107, where I'm more supportive of a role for unaffiliated voters in selecting presidential candidates, but this measure goes too far and once again gets it wrong on key details for how ballot access would work.
Read the official
prepared by the nonpartisan Legislative Council Staff at the Capitol for all the details, full texts of proposals, arguments for and against, and links to campaign organizations for state ballot measures.
for the official
The following are local ballot measures, applicable only to voters in Denver or certain districts. There are a number of interesting questions on the ballot in various places around the state...
SCFD Question 4B - Reauthorization of Sales Tax
This is a decision for metro voters in the 7-county Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. Voting YES continues the existing sales tax at the same rate, specifying that increasing shares be directed to mid-size and smaller organizations providing diverse arts, cultural and scientific experiences throughout our communities. Investments in the arts support our economy and our quality of life. A proven winner: vote YES for Culture for All. Click here for more info.
3A & 3B
- Bond & Mill
It's time to do it again. Retiring bond debt makes room for these new bond obligations without a tax increase. The mill levy increase will support teachers and put more counselors and mental health professionals in our schools.
for more information.
2A - Retain Preschool Sales Tax
More ballot silliness making us vote twice to continue to Denver Preschool Program sales tax after recently authorizing a small increase in the tax rate. A technicality, a formality, a necessity. Please vote
2B - Amend Charter Independent Monitor
Establishes the Office of the Independent Monitor in the City Charter, making it a more permanent agency within the structure of city government. This a good idea, even if the role, responsibilities and powers of the office should be the subject of ongoing discussion and scrutiny.
300 - Neighborhood Permitted Social Use
Initiated by citizen petition, this measure creates a means of regulating businesses where the public consumption of marijuana would be allowed. It has a number of curious features and common sense safeguards, which together make me think it's a workable step forward on a delicate issue that elected leaders have been unable and/or unwilling to address. A Registered Neighborhood Organization or Business Improvement District would have to support a permit application for any businesses wishing to create a space for marijuana consumption, giving them the ability to impose additional conditions and restrictions. It's unlikely that many businesses will seek these permits, but those that do will be discrete, regulated and safe.
for more info.
STATE SENATE RACES TO WATCH
Help restore a Democratic Majority in the Colorado Senate. Support the
Democratic Senate Campaign Fund
(an initiative of the Colorado Democratic Party), and/or contribute to any or all of this sampling of their worthy candidates in competitive districts:
OTHER CANDIDATES WORTHY OF MENTION
Former House Majority Leader
is running for an at-large seat on the CU Board of Regents. Madden is a popular and thoughtful leader with a proven track record that will benefit the University. Statewide races for the at-large seats on this board are difficult and often overlooked - click on Alice Madden and help out her campaign!
Also seeking a spot of the CU Board of Regents is
He's from the Denver-based 1st CD, a heavily Democratic district and one he's all but certain to win. He could be part of a Democratic majority on the Board of Regents if things go well in November. Be sure to vote for both Madden and Kroll.
And speaking of Denver, I'm now supporting
for District Attorney after her impressive primary victory. That office needs a change.
Claudia Folska for RTD Director, District E
Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 6:30pm
hosted by Myra Rieger and Roger Armstrong
7000 E. Quincy Ave. Unit C-209
Stop by this house party and support a terrific RTD Board Member and her reelection campaign. Claudia Folska is a dedicated advocate for people who rely on public transportation and she's earned a second term. Click here to learn more or contribute online.
Colorado Citizens Alliance benefit for State Senate Democrats
Monday, September 26, 2016, 4:30pm
Tavern Washington Park
1066 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO 80209
Help us take back the Senate majority for the Democrats in Colorado! Stop by this friendly neighborhood spot near Denver's Wash Park and pay your respects to key leaders in the State Senate. Contributions of any shape or size are welcome!
IN THE NEWS
by Erika Matich, Colorado Cancer Blogs, Sept. 1, 2016
"I am really proud of the fact that we could take some of the tobacco settlement and actually spend it on research."
by Alan Prendergast, Westword, August 30, 2016
"One of the big challenges is that nobody has agreed upon the definition of success for Fort Lyon," says Steadman.
That's all for this edition!
I'll be in touch again before the election with reminders about voting, my thoughts on the ballot issues, candidates and maybe another event or two. Stay tuned!
Thanks for considering this information,