Nov 3, 2021 - News
Denver voters reject mayor's 2021 ballot question, approve others

Denver voters rejected the crown jewel in Mayor Michael Hancock's $450 million bond package, voting against the $190 million arena at the National Western Center while approving other new spending.

Driving the news: The mayor put his five-pronged spending plan to voters — and allies spent millions to push it — but skepticism from residents clouded the project’s vision, leading the measure to defeat.

  • Ballot measures 2A through 2D funding new libraries, homeless shelters, parks and bike lanes won by wide margins.
  • But 2E — the arena — failed by a 41% to 59% vote, based on preliminary returns.

Why it matters: Hancock backed the arena despite concerns from City Council members about the extra spending it would require, calling the "state-of-the-art" facility a major job generator that could turn the Western Center campus into a year-round destination.

By the numbers: The night's other election results offered a mixed bag for the city — and its leaders, per midnight counts.

  • 2F: Failed 32% to 68%. It will remain legal for five unrelated adults to live together in Denver.
  • 2G and 2H: Passed 68% to 32% and 75% to 25%, respectively. The City Council can appoint an independent police monitor, and the city will move its municipal elections to April.
  • 300: Failed 40% to 60%. Marijuana taxes will not be raised 1.5% to fund pandemic research.
  • 301: Passed 63% to 37%. Voter approval will be required to develop the Park Hill Golf Course.
  • 302: Failed 38% to 62%. The definition of conservation easement to allow development on the Park Hill Golf Course will not be amended.
  • 303: Failed 45% to 55%. The city will not be required to cap its sanctioned homeless campsites or face a stricter time requirement to remove illegal homeless camps.
  • 304: Failed 38% to 62%. Denver's sales tax rate will not be decreased or capped at 4.5%.
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