Nov 8, 2022 - News

Colorado ballot measures to watch

Illustration of a close up of the state of Colorado, with the state outline as a checked "box".

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Colorado voters will weigh in on numerous measures that could change how they live, work and play.

By the numbers: At the city and state level, voters will decide on more than 140 municipal ballot questions, according to the Colorado Municipal League. Here are a few we'll be watching closely on election night.

1. Mountain housing

Details: At least five mountain communities — Aspen, Carbondale, Dillon, Grand Junction and Steamboat Springs — are voting on potential short-term rental tax increases that will pay for affordable housing and services.

  • The measures come at a time when living in these mountain towns is increasingly more expensive, and other towns are exploring strategies to raise money to pay for affordable housing, including lodging taxes.

2. Ranked-choice voting in Fort Collins

Details: Voters will decide whether the city moves to ranked-choice voting for its local elections, where voters select candidates in order of preference, and contenders are eliminated one by one based on who collects the most votes if no candidate gets more than 50%.

  • It's by far the most debated measure on the city's ballot, according to the Coloradoan, which reports that supporters say this process ensures a true voter consensus.
  • Opponents suggest the system is too complicated, and could lead to voter disenfranchisement.

Flashback: Denver Elections supported using ranked-choice voting was supported last year, though it failed to garner much support from elected officials in the city.

3. Colorado Springs could get recreational marijuana sales

Details: The state's second-largest city could allow recreational marijuana sales, 10 years after Coloradans voted to make it legal at the state level.

Zoom in: Cripple Creek, Dove Creek, Hotchkiss, Nunn and Palmer Lake are considering similar measures.

4. Boulder votes on CU South's annexation

Details: Voters will decide whether to nullify an agreement approved last fall between the city and the University of Colorado Boulder over the annexation of a piece of land called CU Boulder South.

  • Reversing the annexation agreement — which made 308 acres at Table Mesa Drive and U.S. 36 part of the city, according to the Daily Camera — would require the city to go back to the drawing board with the school and determine a plan for the plot.

One reason the city wants the piece of land is because it would help with flood protection, though the university wants to build a campus there, according to the Boulder Beat.

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