Garfield County

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Election Day is Tuesday, November 3!

The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot based on your values. Vote in every race! It’s our right and responsibility. Browse the categories at the left or select “Choose My Guide” to see races specific to you. And please share this guide with your friends and family.

Federal

President

  • Democrat
  • Joe Biden is one of the nation’s most experienced public servants, having served as a U.S. senator from Delaware for 36 years and the U.S. vice president for eight years. Biden is running on a comprehensive progressive platform.

    Biden has championed individual rights throughout his career — from spearheading the Violence Against Women Act to passing laws that expanded the definition of hate crimes to include those based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Biden led the fight to pass the Brady Bill, which established the national firearms background check system, and helped secure a 10-year ban on assault weapons from 1994-2004. As vice president, Biden oversaw the implementation of one of the largest economic recovery plans in American history in 2009, saving the American automobile industry and millions of American jobs in all sectors of the economy. During the Obama/Biden administration, the United States made significant progress toward a clean energy economy and provided health coverage to millions of Americans via the passage of the Affordable Care Act — a law Biden has vowed to expand and improve.

    If elected president, Biden has pledged to work to reverse the damage from the last four years of partisan obstruction and executive branch policies solely benefiting the wealthy and well-connected. Biden supports a $15-per-hour minimum wage and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for all workers. He also seeks to address the country's racial wealth disparity, equal opportunity, and jobs gaps by empowering small-business creation and expansion in economically disadvantaged areas. On the climate crisis, Biden proposes net-zero CO2 emissions in the U.S. by 2050 and rejoining the Paris climate accords. On the immediate front, Biden has proposed a national crisis response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden’s experience handling the economic recovery with Obama after the Great Recession of 2009 will inform his actions to help individuals, families, small businesses, and local and state governments that are struggling badly as a result of the botched response to the pandemic. Biden will restore the long-standing precedent that public health decisions are best made by public health professionals.

    Biden has pledged to defend abortion rights, expand and protect union membership, bring together an equitable and diverse group of experts to handle the nation’s institutional racism crisis, and restore dignity to the office of president of the United States.

    Biden is the clear presidential choice for progressive voters.

    In this election, he faces Donald Trump — considered by progressives to be the most corrupt, incompetent, anti-progressive president in recent memory and perhaps in American history. Trump’s biggest achievement as president was forcing through a massive tax cut that overwhelmingly favored the wealthiest Americans, making the nation’s historic income-disparity problem even worse. Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Paris Climate Accords, making the U.S. one of very few countries that are not signatories. Trump’s administration has encouraged repeated unsuccessful attempts by Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has provided health coverage to millions of Americans, including a federal court challenge in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to dismantle the law. Trump has supported racist immigration practices that contravene international law on the treatment of refugees.

    Trump’s decisions have trickled into even the most mundane things, affecting Americans on a daily basis. Trump scrapped a bill requiring airlines to disclose bag fees, blocked consumers from suing banks, ignored the growing crisis over student loans, lifted bans on transferring military equipment to local law enforcement which has exacerbated police-citizen conflicts, particularly in relation to Black Lives Matter protests, and has set off a trade war with China that has done tremendous economic damage to American agricultural producers and manufacturers.

    Controversies involving Trump’s presidency are too numerous to list here but include lying about mail voting to such a degree that social media platforms have been forced to remove his misinformation, racist, sexist, and defamatory statements against his political opponents, dispatching federal police to attack protesters in unmarked vehicles, installing corrupt and incompetent tools of special interest into every level of government, nominating federal judges and Supreme Court justices who seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, banning transgender Americans from military service, helping spread baseless conspiracy theories, defending the actions of overt white supremacists and racist nationalists, downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic to the public despite detailed foreknowledge of the coming disaster, pursuing diplomacy with dictators while scorning traditional American allies, and changing federal guidelines to undermine racial equality. For a more comprehensive list, we encourage you to visit the Wikipedia page for Trump administration controversies.

    Evidence abounds showing that Trump never disassociated himself from his businesses and has used his office for personal enrichment. And let’s not forget he was impeached over revelations he first blocked military aid to Ukraine and then pushed its president to dig up damaging info on his political opponent as a “favor.”

    Trump must not only be defeated, but the margin of victory must be so resounding as to prevent him from calling the results of the election into question as he has already pledged to do.

    Joe Biden is one of the nation’s most experienced public servants, having served as a U.S. senator from Delaware for 36 years and the U.S. vice president for eight years. Biden is running on a comprehensive progressive platform.

    Biden has championed individual rights throughout his career — from spearheading the Violence Against Women Act to passing laws that expanded the definition of hate crimes to include those based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Biden led the fight to pass the Brady Bill, which established the national firearms background check system, and helped secure a 10-year ban on assault weapons from 1994-2004. As vice president, Biden oversaw the implementation of one of the largest economic recovery plans in American history in 2009, saving the American automobile industry and millions of American jobs in all sectors of the economy. During the Obama/Biden administration, the United States made significant progress toward a clean energy economy and provided health coverage to millions of Americans via the passage of the Affordable Care Act — a law Biden has vowed to expand and improve.

U.S. Senator

  • Former Colorado Gov. and incumbent U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper did not take the usual path into public office. After being laid off from his job as a geologist, he opened a successful brewpub. But as a small-business owner, he became involved in his community, and he ran for office. He served two terms each as mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado, using his unique perspective to bring people together to get things done.

    When Hickenlooper was sworn in as governor in 2010, Colorado ranked 40th among the states in job creation. By the time Hickenlooper left office eight years later, Colorado had the #1 economy in the nation. Under Hickenlooper, when he was governor, Colorado’s economy grew without leaving Coloradans behind. Hickenlooper expanded Medicaid to cover an additional 400,000 Coloradans and cut the uninsured rate by nearly two-thirds. He signed three landmark gun safety laws in 2013 that banned high-capacity magazines and required background checks for any firearm transfer. On the environment, Hickenlooper made Colorado the first state to limit methane pollution from oil and gas wells. Working with the General Assembly, Hickenlooper signed legislation to ensure every eligible registered voter in Colorado gets a mail-in ballot, made voter registration more accessible, and pushed for numerous other election reforms that have made Colorado a model for election innovation. He also signed historic legislation granting in-state tuition to DREAMers.

    Hickenlooper has vowed to improve and build on the Affordable Care Act and supports a federally administered public health coverage option. Hickenlooper recognizes the existential threat of climate change and favors a bold, science-based approach. He supports commonsense policies on gun violence, including restoring an assault weapons ban. Hickenlooper was the first governor of Colorado to apologize for the Sand Creek Massacre and has committed to listening to the voices of marginalized communities and rooting out systemic racism where it lurks in our society, from police brutality to immigration laws to racial disparities in economic status to access to quality education.

    Hickenlooper is the progressive voter’s best choice for U.S. senator.

    He faces incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in this election. While in the Senate, Gardner has been a reliable Republican vote on the overwhelming majority of issues. He has supported Donald Trump’s position on votes 89% of the time, and Politico notes that Gardner is “reliably conservative on most issues.” In 2014, Gardner promised in a campaign ad to speak out when his party is wrong and called on Donald Trump to pull out of the race for president in October of 2016. Since then, however, Gardner has fully embraced Trump and was one of the first senators to endorse Trump’s reelection.

    From his earliest votes in Congress, Gardner has consistently sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He has voted to repeal the ACA and to replace it with a bill that would dramatically decrease health care coverage and increase the cost of coverage. He was quoted at a private luncheon that failing to repeal the ACA would result in fewer donations to Republicans, suggesting he is not motivated by the common good.

    Gardner has rejected most gun safety legislation throughout his career and is a top recipient of donations from the National Rifle Association. He has voted against expanding background checks to include gun show sales, which has been the law in Colorado since just after the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. He even voted against banning gun sales to people on the terrorist watch list.

    In a historic change of heart, The Denver Post editorial board declared in 2019 they made a mistake in their 2014 endorsement of Gardner, stating he “has been too busy walking a political tight rope to be a leader.”

    This race also has a Libertarian candidate: Raymon Doane. Doane is a Denver native who currently works for the Colorado Department of Revenue as a property tax specialist and business analyst. He previously ran for the state senate in 2016 as a Republican, and in 2018, he first filed to run for state treasurer and then for Congress against Democrat Diana DeGette as a Libertarian.

    Doane’s few public statements should give voters pause. While the country has been dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, Doane was quoted as saying, “The federal government should not have to intervene on behalf of local municipalities and states that make poor decisions during a pandemic.” He also has said he thinks public health mandates should be more like “suggestions.” Additionally, among the four policy positions Doane takes on his website, one statement endorsing an unregulated Second Amendment stands out: “The government should NEVER have a monopoly on force. The U.S. Senate must … refuse to vote for any legislation which limits an American’s right to self-defense.” These kinds of statements don’t represent Colorado progressives.

    Former Colorado Gov. and incumbent U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper did not take the usual path into public office. After being laid off from his job as a geologist, he opened a successful brewpub. But as a small-business owner, he became involved in his community, and he ran for office. He served two terms each as mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado, using his unique perspective to bring people together to get things done.

    When Hickenlooper was sworn in as governor in 2010, Colorado ranked 40th among the states in job creation. By the time Hickenlooper left office eight years later, Colorado had the #1 economy in the nation. Under Hickenlooper, when he was governor, Colorado’s economy grew without leaving Coloradans behind. Hickenlooper expanded Medicaid to cover an additional 400,000 Coloradans and cut the uninsured rate by nearly two-thirds. He signed three landmark gun safety laws in 2013 that banned high-capacity magazines and required background checks for any firearm transfer. On the environment, Hickenlooper made Colorado the first state to limit methane pollution from oil and gas wells. Working with the General Assembly, Hickenlooper signed legislation to ensure every eligible registered voter in Colorado gets a mail-in ballot, made voter registration more accessible, and pushed for numerous other election reforms that have made Colorado a model for election innovation. He also signed historic legislation granting in-state tuition to DREAMers.

Congress, 3rd Congressional District

U.S. Representative

  • Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state representative, is now running for Congress. She is a retired sociology professor and previous Routt County commissioner who has lived in the Western Slope — a part of Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District — for over 43 years. She previously ran for this seat in 2018, when she came closer to winning than any Democrat had in the three prior elections.

    Colleagues from her other tenures have commended Mitsch Bush’s extreme attention to detail, her pragmatism, and her willingness to work with all sides. She has shown an ability to lead calmly through disasters, including the Great Recession, wildfires, floods, drought, and the swine flu epidemic. While in the state legislature, Mitsch Bush was a leading advocate for family agriculture, sustainable water infrastructure, and small rural communities. She sponsored many critically important bills, including ones to protect the environment and hold polluters accountable, lower health care and health insurance costs, and increase funding for rural schools. Over 80% of her bills were co-prime sponsored with rural Republicans.

    Mitsch Bush has said her family’s early struggles with financial insecurity taught her the importance of helping others through public service. Her goal is to have an America that provides opportunities for all, not just the wealthy and well-connected. She intends to fight to make health care affordable for everyone, to protect the environment for generations to come, and to bring more good-paying jobs to rural communities.

    Mitsch Bush is an experienced lawmaker and local leader who, if elected to Congress, will be ready on day one to get to work on policies that will benefit her district.

    Running against her is Republican Lauren Boebert. Boebert is the owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado — a restaurant known mainly for the fact that the wait staff openly carry guns on their person. Guns are one of the few things Boebert talks about regularly. She once drove across the state to go to a rally for Beto O’Rourke just to confront him about his gun safety position.

    What voters really need to know, however, is that Boebert is a strong proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory: the wild idea that Donald Trump is waging a secret war against Democrats and movie stars who are running an international child trafficking ring. She has been quoted as saying, “I hope that this is real. … It only means America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values and that’s what I’m for.” She later added, “Everything that I have heard of this movement is only motivating and encouraging and bringing people together stronger ... it could be really great for our country.”

    Boebert hasn’t explained more of her own positions beyond generic talking points, but it seems clear she is very far from being a progressive choice.

    Diane Mitsch Bush

    Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state representative, is now running for Congress. She is a retired sociology professor and previous Routt County commissioner who has lived in the Western Slope — a part of Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District — for over 43 years. She previously ran for this seat in 2018, when she came closer to winning than any Democrat had in the three prior elections.

    Colleagues from her other tenures have commended Mitsch Bush’s extreme attention to detail, her pragmatism, and her willingness to work with all sides. She has shown an ability to lead calmly through disasters, including the Great Recession, wildfires, floods, drought, and the swine flu epidemic. While in the state legislature, Mitsch Bush was a leading advocate for family agriculture, sustainable water infrastructure, and small rural communities. She sponsored many critically important bills, including ones to protect the environment and hold polluters accountable, lower health care and health insurance costs, and increase funding for rural schools. Over 80% of her bills were co-prime sponsored with rural Republicans.

    Mitsch Bush has said her family’s early struggles with financial insecurity taught her the importance of helping others through public service. Her goal is to have an America that provides opportunities for all, not just the wealthy and well-connected. She intends to fight to make health care affordable for everyone, to protect the environment for generations to come, and to bring more good-paying jobs to rural communities.

    Mitsch Bush is an experienced lawmaker and local leader who, if elected to Congress, will be ready on day one to get to work on policies that will benefit her district.

    Running against her is Republican Lauren Boebert. Boebert is the owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado — a restaurant known mainly for the fact that the wait staff openly carry guns on their person. Guns are one of the few things Boebert talks about regularly. She once drove across the state to go to a rally for Beto O’Rourke just to confront him about his gun safety position.

    What voters really need to know, however, is that Boebert is a strong proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory: the wild idea that Donald Trump is waging a secret war against Democrats and movie stars who are running an international child trafficking ring. She has been quoted as saying, “I hope that this is real. … It only means America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values and that’s what I’m for.” She later added, “Everything that I have heard of this movement is only motivating and encouraging and bringing people together stronger ... it could be really great for our country.”

    Boebert hasn’t explained more of her own positions beyond generic talking points, but it seems clear she is very far from being a progressive choice.

Board of Education, 3rd Congressional District

Board of Education, 3rd Congressional District

  • Mayling Simpson is a retired public and environmental health professional in Steamboat Springs. Simpson spent her career educating people on public health and helping set up health education in public schools across the world. Having been a teacher at both the high school and college levels, she has a lot of experience in and around education. Someone who knows directly how classrooms work is somebody who can really help on the state school board and is the progressive voter’s best choice in this race.

    Republican candidate Joyce Rankin is a former teacher and small-business owner. She supports using public taxpayer funds for private school education, taking much-needed funds away from public schools that really need the money. We recommend giving support instead to Simpson.

    Mayling Simpson

    Mayling Simpson is a retired public and environmental health professional in Steamboat Springs. Simpson spent her career educating people on public health and helping set up health education in public schools across the world.

State Senator, District 8

State Senator

  • Democrat
  •  

    Karl Hanlon is an attorney and the Democratic candidate to represent District 8. He is a bastion of the Western Slope community, having grown up on a ranch in Jackson County to parents who survived the Great Depression and World War II. He knows the struggles people have in this area and what life is like for regular folks. And with Hanlon’s experience working on water law and environmental issues, he knows that climate change really means something to working people. This is exactly why District 8 needs a change in representation — Hanlon will go to Denver prepared to fight for the people. He is the best choice in this race.

    He hopes to unseat appointed State Sen. Bob Rankin. Rankin, who represented House District 57 before moving into the state senate, says he “share[s] extreme frustrations with our state government that’s controlled by one party with very progressive leadership” with conservatives. However, that progressive leadership was swept into office in 2018 and has already accomplished a lot for the state of Colorado. We don’t recommend keeping Rankin in office.

    Karl Hanlon

     

    Karl Hanlon is an attorney and the Democratic candidate to represent District 8. He is a bastion of the Western Slope community, having grown up on a ranch in Jackson County to parents who survived the Great Depression and World War II. He knows the struggles people have in this area and what life is like for regular folks. And with Hanlon’s experience working on water law and environmental issues, he knows that climate change really means something to working people. This is exactly why District 8 needs a change in representation — Hanlon will go to Denver prepared to fight for the people. He is the best choice in this race.

    He hopes to unseat appointed State Sen. Bob Rankin. Rankin, who represented House District 57 before moving into the state senate, says he “share[s] extreme frustrations with our state government that’s controlled by one party with very progressive leadership” with conservatives. However, that progressive leadership was swept into office in 2018 and has already accomplished a lot for the state of Colorado. We don’t recommend keeping Rankin in office.

Representative, District 57

State Representative

  • Attorney Colin Wilhelm is running for a second time to represent District 57. He has a proven record of serving the people in his community with experience serving with Glenwood Springs government commissions and nonprofit boards. Wilhelm’s top concerns include expanding affordable health care options for his constituents and “diversifying” the local economy by bringing in new industries to the Western Slope such as renewable energy. He thinks the area needs legislation to better support the specific needs of the community, particularly the Hispanic and Latino populations. He is an advocate for protecting the environment, mental health care access, addressing the gender pay gap, and police reform.

    Wilhelm is the progressive voter’s choice in this race.

    He is facing incumbent Republican Perry Will in what has been described as “an uphill battle.” District 57 is a historically Republican seat, and Will has represented it since 2019. Will worked for the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife for 43 years, and his recent sponsored legislation has focused on natural resource management, fiscal policy, and transportation. He has voted against cutting greenhouse gasses, police reform, driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, and gun safety legislation. Will’s positions are likely to continue to impede progress in the Western Slope if he is reelected.

    Colin Wilhelm

    Attorney Colin Wilhelm is running for a second time to represent District 57. He has a proven record of serving the people in his community with experience serving with Glenwood Springs government commissions and nonprofit boards.

District Attorney

District Attorney, 9th Judicial District

No Good Choices

No viable candidate with progressive values is running in this race.

Jefferson Cheney is the current district attorney for District 9. While Cheney does have experience, nothing really stands out in his time in office as markedly progressive. He also was part of a previous Republican administration that was accused of unnecessary investigations and wasting taxpayer dollars on frivolous and unwinnable cases. We hope the next election brings a progressive challenger to the table.


Garfield County Commission

Garfield County Commissioner, District 2

  • Beatriz Soto is an architect and environmental leader in Garfield County. Soto's priorities are finding solutions for the public health crises, ensuring the economy works for everyone, and addressing climate change. Among her intentions are attaining 100% clean energy in the county and giving incentives for sustainable and regenerative farming and ranching. She knows relying forever on gas and oil isn’t a winning strategy. Garfield County is in desperate need for new leadership to meet the problems of tomorrow head on, and progressive voters can feel confident that Soto will be that change.

    She hopes to unseat the incumbent commissioner, John Martin, who has served the district for 24 years. In that time — despite however much he touts that he “stands up for the rights of western Colorado” — his actions have shown he’s not working for the best interests of the people. In August, he told The Colorado Sun that getting involved in the air quality and oil and gas coalition, which Garfield County is funding, was a way of ensuring the industry is not “constrained by cumbersome rules.” He is less concerned with finding alternatives and preserving public lands than he is about taking care of industry supporters. We are facing a very different world ahead, and Martin represents a bygone era. Voters should instead elect Soto.

Garfield County Commissioner, District 3

  • Leslie Robinson is a former journalist and nonprofit manager and has been a resident of Rifle for over 40 years. She has the local experience to know that the current county commissioner, Mike Samson, has been on the board too long and gotten too cozy with the oil and gas industry, placing their needs above the people’s. Robinson wants to make a very needed change to the board, and progressive voters should support this.

    Samson, the incumbent commissioner, is a former school administrator who is part of the current trio of Republican county commissioners who have been on the board together for 12 years. They are not equipped to govern for the new realities we’re facing and haven’t shown much interest in changing anything they’re doing. Voters should look instead to Robinson for a new approach in Garfield County.

Statewide Ballot Measures

Amendment #B

  • VOTE YES
    Vote YES for Amendment B
  • Amendment B, Repeal Property Tax Assessment Rates

    The Gallagher Amendment Repeal and Property Tax Assessment Rates Measure (Amendment B) would repeal the Gallagher Amendment of 1982, which fixed residential and business property tax rates at 45% residential and 55% business. This measure is intended to relieve downward pressure on local public school funding across the state through the repeal of the current property tax assessment formula. The Gallagher Amendment has skewed the tax assessment of residential property in Colorado, resulting in significant shortfalls for school districts reliant on property tax revenue for their funding. Maintaining the Gallagher Amendment’s ratio of residential to business property tax has forced the state to step in with dwindling general fund revenue, causing budget cuts to critical services and an overall proportional reduction in total education funding over time.

    Full text on the ballot: Without increasing property tax rates, to help preserve funding for local districts that provide fire protection, police, ambulance, hospital, kindergarten through twelfth grade education, and other services, and to avoid automatic mill levy increases, shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution to repeal the requirement that the general assembly periodically change the residential assessment rate in order to maintain the statewide proportion of residential property as compared to all other taxable property valued for property tax purposes and repeal the nonresidential property tax assessment rate of twenty-nine percent?

    Amendment B, Repeal Property Tax Assessment Rates

    Amendment B, Repeal Property Tax Assessment Rates

    The Gallagher Amendment Repeal and Property Tax Assessment Rates Measure (Amendment B) would repeal the Gallagher Amendment of 1982, which fixed residential and business property tax rates at 45% residential and 55% business. This measure is intended to relieve downward pressure on local public school funding across the state through the repeal of the current property tax assessment formula. The Gallagher Amendment has skewed the tax assessment of residential property in Colorado, resulting in significant shortfalls for school districts reliant on property tax revenue for their funding. Maintaining the Gallagher Amendment’s ratio of residential to business property tax has forced the state to step in with dwindling general fund revenue, causing budget cuts to critical services and an overall proportional reduction in total education funding over time.

    Full text on the ballot: Without increasing property tax rates, to help preserve funding for local districts that provide fire protection, police, ambulance, hospital, kindergarten through twelfth grade education, and other services, and to avoid automatic mill levy increases, shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution to repeal the requirement that the general assembly periodically change the residential assessment rate in order to maintain the statewide proportion of residential property as compared to all other taxable property valued for property tax purposes and repeal the nonresidential property tax assessment rate of twenty-nine percent?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral

Amendment #C

  • VOTE YES
    Vote YES for Amendment C
  • Amendment C, Bingo Raffles Allow Paid Help and Repeal Five-Year Minimum

    The Charitable Bingo and Raffles Amendment (Amendment C) reduces the time period a charitable organization must exist before receiving a charitable gaming license from five years to three years. It also permits charitable organizations to hire staff to manage gaming activities. Charitable gaming in Colorado includes bingo, lotteries, raffles, and certain other games conducted by charitable organizations for fundraising purposes.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the conduct of charitable gaming activities, and, in connection therewith, allowing bingo-raffle licensees to hire managers and operators of games and reducing the required period of a charitable organization's continuous existence before obtaining a charitable gaming license?

    Amendment C, Bingo Raffles Allow Paid Help and Repeal Five-Year Minimum

    Amendment C, Bingo Raffles Allow Paid Help and Repeal Five-Year Minimum

    The Charitable Bingo and Raffles Amendment (Amendment C) reduces the time period a charitable organization must exist before receiving a charitable gaming license from five years to three years. It also permits charitable organizations to hire staff to manage gaming activities. Charitable gaming in Colorado includes bingo, lotteries, raffles, and certain other games conducted by charitable organizations for fundraising purposes.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the conduct of charitable gaming activities, and, in connection therewith, allowing bingo-raffle licensees to hire managers and operators of games and reducing the required period of a charitable organization's continuous existence before obtaining a charitable gaming license?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral

Amendment #76

  • VOTE NO
    Vote NO for Amendment 76
  • Amendment 76, Citizenship Qualification of Electors

    The Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative (Amendment 76) purports to amend Section 1 of Article VII of the Colorado Constitution to state that “only a citizen” of the United States who is 18 years of age or older can vote in federal, state, and local elections in Colorado. Currently, Article VII Section 1 of the Colorado Constitution states that “Every citizen of the United States who has attained the age of eighteen years, has resided in this state for such a time as may be prescribed by law, and has been duly registered as a voter if required by law shall be qualified to vote at all elections.” While the sole change made by the Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative is to replace the word “every” with “only a,” it also would upend current law which allows 17-year-olds who would be 18 by the general election to vote in that cycle’s primary. This seemingly simple change, therefore, has the effect of eliminating an otherwise valid group of young voters from the full election process, to say nothing of the fact that it is a clear attempt to confuse voters into believing that current Colorado law permits noncitizens to vote, which it does not.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution requiring that to be qualified to vote at any election an individual must be a United States citizen?

    Amendment 76, Citizenship Qualification of Electors

    Amendment 76, Citizenship Qualification of Electors

    The Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative (Amendment 76) purports to amend Section 1 of Article VII of the Colorado Constitution to state that “only a citizen” of the United States who is 18 years of age or older can vote in federal, state, and local elections in Colorado. Currently, Article VII Section 1 of the Colorado Constitution states that “Every citizen of the United States who has attained the age of eighteen years, has resided in this state for such a time as may be prescribed by law, and has been duly registered as a voter if required by law shall be qualified to vote at all elections.” While the sole change made by the Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative is to replace the word “every” with “only a,” it also would upend current law which allows 17-year-olds who would be 18 by the general election to vote in that cycle’s primary. This seemingly simple change, therefore, has the effect of eliminating an otherwise valid group of young voters from the full election process, to say nothing of the fact that it is a clear attempt to confuse voters into believing that current Colorado law permits noncitizens to vote, which it does not.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution requiring that to be qualified to vote at any election an individual must be a United States citizen?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral

Amendment #77

  • VOTE YES
    Vote YES for Amendment 77
  • Amendment 77, Local Voter Approval of Gaming Limits in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek

    The Allow Voters in Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek Cities to Expand Authorized Games and Increase Maximum Bets Initiative (Amendment 77) would allow voters in these three gambling towns to vote to increase the maximum single bet allowed for any game beyond the current statewide limit of $100. Additionally, Amendment 77 would allow voters to approve games other than those currently allowed by Colorado law; currently allowed games in Colorado casinos include blackjack, craps, poker, roulette, and slot machines. The proposed measure would also change the distribution of gaming tax funds for community colleges to prioritize student retention and credit completion.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution and a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning voter-approved changes to limited gaming, and, in connection therewith, allowing the voters of Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek, for their individual cities, to approve other games in addition to those currently allowed and increase a maximum single bet to any amount; and allowing gaming tax revenue to be used for support services to improve student retention and credential completion by students enrolled in community colleges?

    Amendment 77, Local Voter Approval of Gaming Limits in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek

    Amendment 77, Local Voter Approval of Gaming Limits in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek

    The Allow Voters in Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek Cities to Expand Authorized Games and Increase Maximum Bets Initiative (Amendment 77) would allow voters in these three gambling towns to vote to increase the maximum single bet allowed for any game beyond the current statewide limit of $100. Additionally, Amendment 77 would allow voters to approve games other than those currently allowed by Colorado law; currently allowed games in Colorado casinos include blackjack, craps, poker, roulette, and slot machines. The proposed measure would also change the distribution of gaming tax funds for community colleges to prioritize student retention and credit completion.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution and a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning voter-approved changes to limited gaming, and, in connection therewith, allowing the voters of Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek, for their individual cities, to approve other games in addition to those currently allowed and increase a maximum single bet to any amount; and allowing gaming tax revenue to be used for support services to improve student retention and credential completion by students enrolled in community colleges?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral

Proposition #EE

  • VOTE YES
    Vote YES for Proposition EE
  • Proposition EE, Cigarette, Tobacco and Nicotine Products Tax

    The Colorado Tobacco and E-Cigarette Tax Increase for Health and Education Programs Measure (Proposition EE) would close a tax loophole on vaping products that currently leaves these products untaxed in Colorado, bringing the tax in line with other tobacco products. The measure would also increase cigarette taxes from $0.84 per pack currently to $2.64 per pack by 2027. The revenue from this measure would provide $375 million to public schools over the next three years to offset budget cuts from COVID-19, with $90 million specifically going to rural school districts. The revenue would also provide access to free, universal preschool to all four-year-olds in Colorado. The measure would also provide $110 million in additional money for smoking and vaping education and cessation programs as well as $35 million for affordable housing and eviction programs over the next three years.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall state taxes be increased by $294,000,000 annually by imposing a tax on nicotine liquids used in e-cigarettes and other vaping products that is equal to the total state tax on tobacco products when fully phased in, incrementally increasing the tobacco products tax by up to 22% of the manufacturer's list price, incrementally increasing the cigarette tax by up to 9 cents per cigarette, expanding the existing cigarette and tobacco taxes to apply to sales to consumers from outside of the state, establishing a minimum tax for moist snuff tobacco products, creating an inventory tax that applies for future cigarette tax increases, and initially using the tax revenue primarily for public school funding to help offset revenue that has been lost as a result of the economic impacts related to COVID-19 and then for programs that reduce the use of tobacco and nicotine products, enhance the voluntary Colorado preschool program and make it widely available for free, and maintain the funding for programs that currently receive revenue from tobacco taxes, with the state keeping and spending all of the new tax revenue as a voter-approved revenue change?

    Proposition EE, Cigarette, Tobacco and Nicotine Products Tax

    Proposition EE, Cigarette, Tobacco and Nicotine Products Tax

    The Colorado Tobacco and E-Cigarette Tax Increase for Health and Education Programs Measure (Proposition EE) would close a tax loophole on vaping products that currently leaves these products untaxed in Colorado, bringing the tax in line with other tobacco products. The measure would also increase cigarette taxes from $0.84 per pack currently to $2.64 per pack by 2027. The revenue from this measure would provide $375 million to public schools over the next three years to offset budget cuts from COVID-19, with $90 million specifically going to rural school districts. The revenue would also provide access to free, universal preschool to all four-year-olds in Colorado. The measure would also provide $110 million in additional money for smoking and vaping education and cessation programs as well as $35 million for affordable housing and eviction programs over the next three years.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall state taxes be increased by $294,000,000 annually by imposing a tax on nicotine liquids used in e-cigarettes and other vaping products that is equal to the total state tax on tobacco products when fully phased in, incrementally increasing the tobacco products tax by up to 22% of the manufacturer's list price, incrementally increasing the cigarette tax by up to 9 cents per cigarette, expanding the existing cigarette and tobacco taxes to apply to sales to consumers from outside of the state, establishing a minimum tax for moist snuff tobacco products, creating an inventory tax that applies for future cigarette tax increases, and initially using the tax revenue primarily for public school funding to help offset revenue that has been lost as a result of the economic impacts related to COVID-19 and then for programs that reduce the use of tobacco and nicotine products, enhance the voluntary Colorado preschool program and make it widely available for free, and maintain the funding for programs that currently receive revenue from tobacco taxes, with the state keeping and spending all of the new tax revenue as a voter-approved revenue change?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral

Proposition #113

  • VOTE YES
    Vote YES for Proposition 113
  • Proposition 113, National Popular Vote

    The Colorado National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Referendum (Proposition 113) would affirm the Colorado General Assembly’s passage of Senate Bill 19-042, which entered Colorado into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to ensure Colorado's Electoral College votes are awarded to the winner of the nationwide popular vote in presidential elections. Colorado has been carried by the winner of the nationwide popular vote in every presidential election since 2004, and the compact would end the unequal valuation of American votes in presidential elections. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would not take effect until an Electoral College majority of states joins. As of August 2020, 14 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation that would trigger the compact in the event 270 Electoral College votes are achieved.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall the following Act of the General Assembly be approved: An Act concerning adoption of an agreement among the states to elect the President of the United States by national popular vote, being Senate Bill No. 19-042?

    Proposition 113, National Popular Vote

    Proposition 113, National Popular Vote

    The Colorado National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Referendum (Proposition 113) would affirm the Colorado General Assembly’s passage of Senate Bill 19-042, which entered Colorado into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to ensure Colorado's Electoral College votes are awarded to the winner of the nationwide popular vote in presidential elections. Colorado has been carried by the winner of the nationwide popular vote in every presidential election since 2004, and the compact would end the unequal valuation of American votes in presidential elections. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would not take effect until an Electoral College majority of states joins. As of August 2020, 14 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation that would trigger the compact in the event 270 Electoral College votes are achieved.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall the following Act of the General Assembly be approved: An Act concerning adoption of an agreement among the states to elect the President of the United States by national popular vote, being Senate Bill No. 19-042?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral

Proposition #114

  • VOTE YES
    Vote YES for Proposition 114
  • Proposition 114, Restoration of Gray Wolves

    The Colorado Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative (Proposition 114) directs the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to reintroduce and manage the population of gray wolves in specific areas of the state by the end of 2023. The commission would be required to develop a plan to reintroduce gray wolves to locations west of the Continental Divide that it will determine, manage reintroduced wolf populations, and compensate property owners who may be affected. Reintroducing gray wolves in Colorado would restore an unbroken connection of protected wolf populations from Canada to Mexico.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning the restoration of gray wolves through their reintroduction on designated lands in Colorado located west of the continental divide, and, in connection therewith, requiring the Colorado parks and wildlife commission, after holding statewide hearings and using scientific data, to implement a plan to restore and manage gray wolves; prohibiting the commission from imposing any land, water, or resource use restrictions on private landowners to further the plan; and requiring the commission to fairly compensate owners for losses of livestock caused by gray wolves?

    Proposition 114, Restoration of Gray Wolves

    Proposition 114, Restoration of Gray Wolves

    The Colorado Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative (Proposition 114) directs the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to reintroduce and manage the population of gray wolves in specific areas of the state by the end of 2023. The commission would be required to develop a plan to reintroduce gray wolves to locations west of the Continental Divide that it will determine, manage reintroduced wolf populations, and compensate property owners who may be affected. Reintroducing gray wolves in Colorado would restore an unbroken connection of protected wolf populations from Canada to Mexico.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning the restoration of gray wolves through their reintroduction on designated lands in Colorado located west of the continental divide, and, in connection therewith, requiring the Colorado parks and wildlife commission, after holding statewide hearings and using scientific data, to implement a plan to restore and manage gray wolves; prohibiting the commission from imposing any land, water, or resource use restrictions on private landowners to further the plan; and requiring the commission to fairly compensate owners for losses of livestock caused by gray wolves?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral

Proposition #115

  • VOTE NO
    Vote NO for Proposition 115
  • Proposition 115, Prohibition on Abortions Later in Pregnancy

    The Colorado 22-Week Abortion Ban Initiative (Proposition 115) would prohibit abortion procedures after 22 weeks of gestational age. Under the rule, an abortion after 22 weeks would only be permitted in an immediate life-threatening emergency with no exceptions for rape, incest, a lethal fetal diagnosis, or the health or medical needs of the patient. Abortion after 22 weeks only accounts for about 1% of total abortion procedures and in many cases is the result of major gestational complications that are found later in pregnancy. Colorado has emerged as a national safe haven for abortion care in these complex circumstances because of gestational bans in other states. Any physician who performs an abortion after 22 weeks would be found in violation of this initiative and face criminal charges and suspension of their medical license by the Colorado Medical Board.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning prohibiting an abortion when the probable gestational age of the fetus is at least twenty-two weeks, and, in connection therewith, making it a misdemeanor punishable by a fine to perform or attempt to perform a prohibited abortion, except when the abortion is immediately required to save the life of the pregnant woman when her life is physically threatened, but not solely by a psychological or emotional condition; defining terms related to the measure including “probable gestational age” and “abortion,” and excepting from the definition of “abortion” medical procedures relating to miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy; specifying that a woman on whom an abortion is performed may not be charged with a crime in relation to a prohibited abortion; and requiring the Colorado medical board to suspend for at least three years the license of a licensee whom the board finds performed or attempted to perform a prohibited abortion?

    Proposition 115, Prohibition on Abortions Later in Pregnancy

    Proposition 115, Prohibition on Abortions Later in Pregnancy

    The Colorado 22-Week Abortion Ban Initiative (Proposition 115) would prohibit abortion procedures after 22 weeks of gestational age. Under the rule, an abortion after 22 weeks would only be permitted in an immediate life-threatening emergency with no exceptions for rape, incest, a lethal fetal diagnosis, or the health or medical needs of the patient. Abortion after 22 weeks only accounts for about 1% of total abortion procedures and in many cases is the result of major gestational complications that are found later in pregnancy. Colorado has emerged as a national safe haven for abortion care in these complex circumstances because of gestational bans in other states. Any physician who performs an abortion after 22 weeks would be found in violation of this initiative and face criminal charges and suspension of their medical license by the Colorado Medical Board.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning prohibiting an abortion when the probable gestational age of the fetus is at least twenty-two weeks, and, in connection therewith, making it a misdemeanor punishable by a fine to perform or attempt to perform a prohibited abortion, except when the abortion is immediately required to save the life of the pregnant woman when her life is physically threatened, but not solely by a psychological or emotional condition; defining terms related to the measure including “probable gestational age” and “abortion,” and excepting from the definition of “abortion” medical procedures relating to miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy; specifying that a woman on whom an abortion is performed may not be charged with a crime in relation to a prohibited abortion; and requiring the Colorado medical board to suspend for at least three years the license of a licensee whom the board finds performed or attempted to perform a prohibited abortion?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral

Proposition #116

  • VOTE NO
    Vote NO for Proposition 116
  • Proposition 116, Decrease Income Tax Rate from 4.63% to 4.55% Initiative

    The Decrease Income Tax Rate from 4.63% to 4.55% Initiative (Proposition 116) would reduce the state income tax rate for individuals and corporations, resulting in state budget cuts of over $150 million per year, forever. Large businesses and people with incomes over half a million dollars per year will receive 70% of the benefit from this tax reduction. Meanwhile, the average Colorado family will get a tax cut of only $37 per year. The state is currently facing billions of dollars in budget shortfalls due to economic contraction from the COVID-19 pandemic, and this tax cut would have to be paid for by cuts to education, public safety, health care, and transportation to the tune of over $200 million in just the first year.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes reducing the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%?

    Proposition 116, Decrease Income Tax Rate from 4.63% to 4.55% Initiative

    Proposition 116, Decrease Income Tax Rate from 4.63% to 4.55% Initiative

    The Decrease Income Tax Rate from 4.63% to 4.55% Initiative (Proposition 116) would reduce the state income tax rate for individuals and corporations, resulting in state budget cuts of over $150 million per year, forever. Large businesses and people with incomes over half a million dollars per year will receive 70% of the benefit from this tax reduction. Meanwhile, the average Colorado family will get a tax cut of only $37 per year. The state is currently facing billions of dollars in budget shortfalls due to economic contraction from the COVID-19 pandemic, and this tax cut would have to be paid for by cuts to education, public safety, health care, and transportation to the tune of over $200 million in just the first year.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes reducing the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral

Proposition #117

  • VOTE NO
    Vote NO for Proposition 117
  • Proposition 117, Require Voter Approval of Certain New Enterprises Exempt from TABOR Initiative

    The Voter Approval of Certain New Enterprises (Proposition 117) would require a statewide vote on new state enterprises generating over $100 million in revenue within the first five years of operation. Enterprises were authorized by the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) as independent entities that administer fee-based programs for specific goods and services such as unemployment insurance, road and bridge construction, cleaning up chemical waste and oil spills, the sale of hunting and fishing licenses by the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife, higher education institutions, and the Colorado State Fair. This initiative is entirely funded by out-of-state billionaires and corporations who often pay the fees this measure would limit. Proposition 117 is confusing and poorly written and will lead to years of lawsuits, unintended consequences, and future cuts in education, transportation, and health care.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes requiring statewide voter approval at the next even-year election of any newly created or qualified state enterprise that is exempt from the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado constitution, if the projected or actual combined revenue from fees and surcharges of the enterprise, and all other enterprises created within the last five years that serve primarily the same purpose, is greater than $100 million within the first five fiscal years of the creation or qualification of the new enterprise?

    Proposition 117, Require Voter Approval of Certain New Enterprises Exempt from TABOR Initiative

    Proposition 117, Require Voter Approval of Certain New Enterprises Exempt from TABOR Initiative

    The Voter Approval of Certain New Enterprises (Proposition 117) would require a statewide vote on new state enterprises generating over $100 million in revenue within the first five years of operation. Enterprises were authorized by the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) as independent entities that administer fee-based programs for specific goods and services such as unemployment insurance, road and bridge construction, cleaning up chemical waste and oil spills, the sale of hunting and fishing licenses by the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife, higher education institutions, and the Colorado State Fair. This initiative is entirely funded by out-of-state billionaires and corporations who often pay the fees this measure would limit. Proposition 117 is confusing and poorly written and will lead to years of lawsuits, unintended consequences, and future cuts in education, transportation, and health care.

    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes requiring statewide voter approval at the next even-year election of any newly created or qualified state enterprise that is exempt from the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado constitution, if the projected or actual combined revenue from fees and surcharges of the enterprise, and all other enterprises created within the last five years that serve primarily the same purpose, is greater than $100 million within the first five fiscal years of the creation or qualification of the new enterprise?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral

Proposition #118

  • VOTE YES
    Vote YES for Proposition 118
  • Proposition 118, Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Initiative

    The Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Initiative (Proposition 118) would establish a paid family and medical leave benefit for most Colorado workers. It would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave, allowing 2.6 million Coloradans to take time to care for themselves, a new child, or a seriously ill family member. Eight states including California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have successfully passed or implemented similar, solvent paid family leave programs. Employees and employers fund the program together, each contributing 0.45% of an employee’s wages to the fund, with the average Colorado worker contributing $3.83 per week. When workers need to take leave, they are paid up to 90% of their salary during that time. Employers may optionally contribute up to 100% of the cost of coverage; businesses with fewer than 10 employees are exempt from paying the premium, but their employees are still covered. Employers that offer paid leave benefits equivalent to the state plan may opt out and keep their plans.


    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning the creation of a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, authorizing paid family and medical leave for a covered employee who has a serious health condition, is caring for a new child or for a family member with a serious health condition, or has a need for leave related to a family member’s military deployment or for safe leave; establishing a maximum of 12 weeks of family and medical leave, with an additional 4 weeks for pregnancy or childbirth complications, with a cap on the weekly benefit amount; requiring job protection for and prohibiting retaliation against an employee who takes paid family and medical leave; allowing a local government to opt out of the program; permitting employees of such a local government and self-employed individuals to participate in the program; exempting employers who offer an approved private paid family and medical leave plan; to pay for the program, requiring a premium of 0.9% of each employee’s wages, up to a cap, through December 31, 2024, and as set thereafter, up to 1.2% of each employee’s wages, by the director of the division of family and medical leave insurance; authorizing an employer to deduct up to 50% of the premium amount from an employee’s wages and requiring the employer to pay the remainder of the premium, with an exemption for employers with fewer than 10 employees; creating the division of family and medical leave insurance as an enterprise within the department of labor and employment to administer the program; and establishing an enforcement and appeals process for retaliation and denied claims?

    Proposition 118, Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Initiative

    Proposition 118, Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Initiative

    The Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Initiative (Proposition 118) would establish a paid family and medical leave benefit for most Colorado workers. It would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave, allowing 2.6 million Coloradans to take time to care for themselves, a new child, or a seriously ill family member. Eight states including California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have successfully passed or implemented similar, solvent paid family leave programs. Employees and employers fund the program together, each contributing 0.45% of an employee’s wages to the fund, with the average Colorado worker contributing $3.83 per week. When workers need to take leave, they are paid up to 90% of their salary during that time. Employers may optionally contribute up to 100% of the cost of coverage; businesses with fewer than 10 employees are exempt from paying the premium, but their employees are still covered. Employers that offer paid leave benefits equivalent to the state plan may opt out and keep their plans.


    Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning the creation of a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, authorizing paid family and medical leave for a covered employee who has a serious health condition, is caring for a new child or for a family member with a serious health condition, or has a need for leave related to a family member’s military deployment or for safe leave; establishing a maximum of 12 weeks of family and medical leave, with an additional 4 weeks for pregnancy or childbirth complications, with a cap on the weekly benefit amount; requiring job protection for and prohibiting retaliation against an employee who takes paid family and medical leave; allowing a local government to opt out of the program; permitting employees of such a local government and self-employed individuals to participate in the program; exempting employers who offer an approved private paid family and medical leave plan; to pay for the program, requiring a premium of 0.9% of each employee’s wages, up to a cap, through December 31, 2024, and as set thereafter, up to 1.2% of each employee’s wages, by the director of the division of family and medical leave insurance; authorizing an employer to deduct up to 50% of the premium amount from an employee’s wages and requiring the employer to pay the remainder of the premium, with an exemption for employers with fewer than 10 employees; creating the division of family and medical leave insurance as an enterprise within the department of labor and employment to administer the program; and establishing an enforcement and appeals process for retaliation and denied claims?

    Support / Oppose / Neutral