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What You Need to Know About the 2018 Colorado Midterm Elections

What You Need to Know About the 2018 Colorado Midterm Elections

Max Rodgers

Monday, November 05, 2018 | Number of views (907)

Colorado’s 2018 midterm election on Nov. 6 has 13 ballot initiatives. Eight of those are amendments to the state constitution and the remaining five are proposals.

Colorado state amendments may be referred to the voters by a two-thirds vote by the General Assembly while a proposal is referred to state voters by a majority vote in the General Assembly.

The Fort Lewis Political Science department, along with the League of Women Voters, co-sponsored the presentation event “Understanding the Ballot” to better educate the FLC student population and Durango residents on the ballot initiatives for the 2018 midterm election, said Paul DeBell, assistant professor of political science.

Understanding the Ballot was hosted on Oct. 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 in the Lyceum room in the Center for Southwest Studies.

The event was a series of videos created by Michael Dichio’s U.S. National Government students, along with presenters from the La Plata County Clerk’s office.

While voting on a federal level is important, state and local elections are even more important because they affect a specific localized population, said DeBell.

“While midterm elections usually have a lower voter turnout than federal presidential elections, voting on a local level is the most important, because the closer to you an issue is, the more your vote matters because there are less voters participating,” he said.

La Plata County is expecting a higher than usual turnout for this year’s election, said Erin Hutchins, La Plata County elections administrator.

“People are coming in to vote before the ballots have been mailed, which is usually a high indicator that there will be a good voter response,” Hutchins said.

The midterm election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Further information on ballot initiatives can be found here.

To register to vote in the state of Colorado, you must have a Colorado state driver’s license, live in the state for at least 22 days, and not currently be in prison, Hutchins said.

The ballot initiatives are as followed according to the 2018 State Ballot Information Booklet;

  • Amendment V: Lowering age requirement from 25 to 21 to serve in the Colorado General Assembly.

  • Amendment W: Changing the election ballot format for judicial retention elections.

  • Amendment X: Changing the definition of industrial hemp in the state constitution to comply with current and future federal definitions.

  • Amendment Y: Establishing the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission to approve the state’s redrawing of congressional district maps by a nonpartisan staff for the federal level.

  • Amendment Z: Establishing the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission to approve the state’s redrawing of legislative district maps for the state level.

  • Amendment A: Changing the wording in the Colorado constitution to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime in which a person is found guilty.

  • Amendment 73: Changing the Colorado state income tax brackets to increase taxes for residents making over $150,000 a year to fund public schools.

  • Amendment 74: Requiring the state government to pay just compensation to private property owners when government action lowers property values.

  • Amendment 75: Allowing political candidates to collect five times the amount of individual contributions to a campaign when a candidate contributes at least $1 million to his or her own campaign.

  • Proposition 109: Allowing the state’s government to take a loan for $3.5 billion for state highway repairs.

  • Proposition 110: Authorizes an increase in Colorado state’s sales tax for continued highway and road construction and repairs.

  • Proposition 111: Lowers finance charges for payday loans to no more than the 36% annual percentage rate (APR).

  • Proposition 112: Requires all new oil and gas development not on federal land to be located no less than 2,500 feet from occupied buildings such as homes and schools.

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