Nov 6, 2020 | NEWS | By Isabel Hicks | Photo by Patil Khakhamian
On Tuesday night, Colorado’s nine electoral votes were awarded to Joe Biden after 55.2% of Coloradans cast votes against the sitting president. This trend was reversed in El Paso County, where President Donald Trump won by eleven points.
Aside from the presidential race, there were many other choices on the ballot for voters to decide. We break them down for you here.
Note that as of Thursday evening, ballots are still being counted, and percentages may not be final.
Yeet complete: Colorado flips its second senate seat blue and sends Cory Gardner packing.
The Senate race between incumbent Cory Gardner (R) and former governor John Hickenlooper (D) was one of the few seats Democrats thought they could potentially flip in order to gain the majority in the Senate. Ultimately, it does not appear that Democrats will win the seats they needed to flip the Senate, but their two successes as of Thursday evening have been Hickenlooper in Colorado and Mark Kelly in Arizona. Hickenlooper gained 53.3% of the vote while Gardner gained 44.4%, with 93% of the vote reported as of Thursday evening, signaling Colorado’s shift to a solidly blue state when it was purple just a few years ago.
U.S. House District 5, where Colorado Springs resides, remains solidly red.
Incumbent Doug Lamborn (R) beat challenger Jillian Freeman (D) by 20 percentage points. He has held his seat since he won it first in 2006.
Statewide ballot measures: Colorado says no to abortion ban, yes to paid family leave, and emphatic maybe to reintroducing grey wolves.
Amendment B, repealing the Gallagher Amendment, passed in Colorado with 57% of the vote. The Gallagher Amendment states that residential and non-residential property taxes must amount to 45% and 55% of the total share of state property taxes, respectively. Now, Colorado will repeal that ratio requirement and all types of property will be taxed the same.
If passed, Amendment C would allow charities to obtain a bingo-raffle license after three years of existence instead of five, and hire volunteers outside their organization to help run their games. As of Thursday evening, the results have yet to be called, but currently “yes” voters are leading at 52%.
Amendment 76 passed with 68% of the vote. This amendment will change the wording of the Colorado Constitution from “every” citizen that has attained the age of 18 can vote to “only” a citizen that has attained the age of 18 can vote. This will effectively eliminate 24,000 young people’s right to vote in primaries, as the Colorado legislature previously said that people who are 17 at the time primaries are held but who will be 18 by the general election can vote in the primary. The wording also has implications that could disenfranchise minority voters with dual citizenship.
Amendment 77 passed with 60% of the vote, which will expand authorized gambling games and increase bet limits in the Colorado cities where gambling is legal — Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek.
Proposition EE passed with 63% of the vote. This measure will increase the tax on nicotine and tobacco products and put the extra revenue towards healthcare, schools, and housing.
Colorado is also poised to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact after voters passed Proposition 113 with 52% of the vote. The compact is an agreement between states to have their electors vote with whoever won the popular vote in a presidential election. The compact will only go into effect once enough states join to total 270 electoral votes.
An unprecedented Proposition 114 allowed voters to decide whether Colorado should reintroduce grey wolves into the state. Voters seem to be having a difficult time with this one — they are split 50.4% for and 49.6% against — but the proposition has narrowly passed, requiring “paws on the ground” by 2023.
Conservationists advocate for the environmental benefits of reintroducing the native species in the ecosystem, but ranchers are opposed because their cattle are sometimes the prey of wolves.
The hotly contested Proposition 115 that would have banned abortion at 22 weeks and penalized any doctors who performed abortions thereafter failed, with 59% of voters voting against it. In El Paso county specifically, 52.6% of people voted in favor of the proposition.
Colorado also passed Proposition 116 by 58%. This measure will reduce the state income tax from a rate of 4.63% to 4.55%.
Proposition 117, which would adjust the budget of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), has not been called yet, but it is currently leading with 53% of voters in favor of the measure. If passed, the government could create a new “enterprise” to collect over $100 million in its first five years that would be exempt from TABOR, which limits the amount of revenue the state can spend each year. Creation of this enterprise would require additional voter approval.
Proposition 118 passed with 57% of the vote, guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave for Coloradans. It will be paid for in part with a 0.9% tax increase on worker’s wages beginning in 2023. In El Paso county specifically, 50.6% of voters approved this measure.
El Paso County ballot measures: TABOR under scrutiny even in conservative areas.
Issue 2A, the TABOR revenue retention amendment, passed by 58.8%. This measure will allow the county to retain and spend $14.5 million in excess 2016 revenue. A no vote would have returned the money to the taxpayers.
Issue 2B would require voter approval for any sales or distribution of parkland within the county. The results have not been called yet, but so far it is leading with 59.3% of the vote.
Issue 2C would require a supermajority of seven City Council members to approve sales or distribution of parkland. This measure also hasn’t been called yet, but has less of a lead than 2B with 51.6% of the vote. If both 2C and 2B pass, whichever passes with a higher margin (currently 2B, which gives control of sales and distribution of parkland to voters) will go into effect. Issue 4A allows School District 11 to remove the state TABOR cap and revenue limit. Voters approved the measure by 74.1%, meaning that as long as the school district acquires funding legally, they don’t have to limit how much they spend in a given year.