The pervasive media obsession with the 2020 presidential election may have led many to forget there were elections last Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Voter turnout in odd-year elections is notoriously low. The Daily Sentinel estimated 39 percent of Colorado registered voters participated in the 2019 election. Other than passing the voting station in the Tivoli, one could be forgiven for not realizing there was an election at all this year.
Colorado had two statewide ballot initiatives this year: Proposition CC, which would allow the state to retain revenue above the state spending cap for transportation and education funding, and Proposition DD, which would legalize sports betting to provide revenue for state water projects. Proposition CC was soundly defeated, while Proposition DD narrowly passed with 51 percent of the vote.
There was also a mayoral race in Aurora, where former Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican, competed against Democrat Omar Montgomery, a CU Denver professor and Director of the Center for Identity and Inclusion, along with four other candidates who were considered to be less competitive. The race has yet to be called as of a week later, with Coffman leading Montgomery by less than 300 votes.
Montgomery has encouraged his supporters on social media to reach out to his campaign if their ballots have not yet been counted due to a verification issue. It’s possible it will take another couple of weeks to officially call the election, which Coffman is currently leading by less than half a percentage point.
Looking toward the 2020 elections, Colorado residents should note that voting in this state is easier than most, with options like online voter registration, voting by mail, and ballot drop-off locations scattered throughout the state. Even so, organizations like Common Cause Colorado and the National Vote at Home Institute are hoping to adopt policies like same-day voter registration and at-home voting options.
Next year will have a highly contentious presidential election taking up all our thoughts, but be sure to remember Colorado’s senate race, congressional races, and state house and senate races as well.