You tired? Tired of radio, print, television and the internet commandeered by political ads? Well, it’s over. The election’s over. The next onslaught of what’s exhausted you doesn’t start for at least another eighteen months. But as elections go---replete with races for the nation’s top job all the way down the Denver and Colorado ballot to wolves and pit bulls---this was a doozy!
Former Vice President Joe Biden won Colorado. Of course, Trump did all he could to alienate plenty of voters, including tons of Latinos, Africa-Americans, suburban White women, county clerks and a bunch more. Of course, with Trump remaining in office until then, It may be a bumpy ride.
Colorado will have a new Senator. Former Governor John Hickenlooper defeated Republican Cory Gardner. Gardner did himself no favors by clinging like a burr to President Trump’s coattails. Hickenlooper will join Democrat Michael Bennet in the upper house.
Colorado voters voted down, perhaps, the state’s most emotional item on the ballot. Proposition 115 would have banned late term abortions. State Senator Julie Gonzales worked around the Covid-19 pandemic speaking via Zoom with her constituents explaining her support for the measure. “I’ve had so many conversations with women who’ve wanted to have babies but haven’t been able to,” she said. Gonzales said she heard from both sides on the issue. Gonzales said it’s not the state who should decide “the most difficult decision” of a woman’s life.
Two fiscal items that have challenged the state for years, The Gallagher Amendment and TABOR, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, were also on the ballot. Gallagher, Amendment B, has been in the state Constitution since 1982. It sets guidelines for determining the actual value of property along with the valuation for assessment of the property. At press time with 82 percent of the vote in, it seemed on it’s way for approval. TABOR, Proposition 117, says the state cannot raise taxes without a statewide vote. At press time it was running ahead with 52 percent of the vote in.
State voters also weighed in on the controversial Proposition 114 which would have allowed for the reintroduction of the gray wolf into the state. Gray wolves once roamed much of the United States, but the arrival of European settlers led them to near extinction. Colorado’s last gray was killed in the 1940’s. Proponents argued that the wolf would create a more sustainable ecological balance. Opponents, particular state farmers and ranchers, said that the wolves were a threat to sheep and cattle.
Denver voters had their say on Ballot Measure 2J which was aimed at the dog breeds of American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The breed has been banned in Denver since 1989 following vicious attacks by the breed on both children and adults. At press time, too close to call.
Colorado voters also weighed in with their opinion on the Electoral College, the constitutionally mandated method for electing the President. The movement has gained currency over the last several years primarily because the winner of the national popular vote in recent elections has not become President. Proposition 113 stated that Colorado’s nine Electoral College votes would be awarded to whomever won the most raw votes nationwide. Colorado joins 14 other states and Washington, D.C. in the move.
Finally, Colorado made it through the election with mail-in ballots. They’ve been the law since 2013. “We have the gold standard of elections here,” said Gonzales. The system, “makes me proud.”
Colorado Proposition 114, the Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative, is on the ballot in Colorado as an initiated state statute on November 3, 2020. At press time it was too close to call.
A “yes” vote supports requiring the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to create a plan to reintroduce and manage gray wolves on designated lands west of the continental divide by the end of 2023.
A “no” vote opposes creating a plan to reintroduce and manage gray wolves on designated lands west of the continental divide by the end of 2023.