Voters across Colorado are going to the polls today to elect municipal officials and decide ballot measures on a host of issues, including sales tax, retail marijuana and fluoridation, according to data compiled by the Colorado Municipal League.
Around half of the roughly 100 municipalities casting ballots are doing so by mail, with the remainder following guidelines meant to protect voters and election officials from the novel coronavirus, including increased sanitization procedures and strict social-distancing requirements at polling places issued by Gov. Jared Polis in consultation with CML.
“Municipal clerks with elections have been hard at work for the past several weeks getting ready for Tuesday’s elections," Kevin Bommer, CML's executive director, told Colorado Politics in an email.
"They will be conducted safely and fairly, and CML is grateful for the acknowledgment from Gov. Polis. The clerks and the folks serving as election judges deserve our gratitude for all they are doing.”
Nearly 70 elections have been canceled because there wasn't more than one candidate running for an open seat, said CML spokeswoman Sarah Werner.
Voters in Eagle are deciding whether to adopt a home rule charter, and voters in Severance will decide whether to begin working toward establishing home rule. Ault and Pitkin want to reduce the number of trustees on their town boards, and Montezuma voters will decide whether to eliminate term limits on municipal officials.
Other governance issues include questions in Keenesburg and Mead to move town elections to November in even-numbered years; an adjustment to petition requirements in Burlington; and charter amendments in Delta, Glendale, Johnstown and Woodland Park.
As usual, local marijuana questions abound. Municipalities asking voters to approve various combinations of pot retail, cultivation, manufacturing and testing authority within their boundaries include Dolores, Kremmling, Norwood, Pierce, Platteville and Severance. All but Pierce are also considering marijuana taxes.
Among the sales tax questions before voters: Burlington, Center, Creede, Limon and Westcliffe are asking voters to approve taxes for capital improvements, with Center's proposal also designed to fund downtown revitalization and public safety; Crestone wants to fund water and sewer expenses; Evans, Johntown and Silver Cliff are asking for funds for street expenses; Grover and Wiley are asking for revenue for general expenses; and Platteville is seeking funding for economic development.
Firestone wants to expand the purpose it can spend an existing voter-approved sales tax, and Carbondale, Eagle and Red Cliff are asking voters to approve tobacco taxes.
Other tax questions include a property tax for municipal improvements in Pitkin; lodging taxes in Fruita, Mead and Yuma; a short-term rental tax in Nederland; and swapping an occupational tax for a sales tax in Sedgewick.
Two municipalities, Akron and Berthoud, are asking voters to deBruce their governments by lifting TABOR revenue restrictions.
Frederick, Johnstown and Monument want voters to approve moves toward municipal broadband services.
Lyons and Palisade want to publish certain municipal records online instead of in local newspapers, and Lyons and Keenesburg want to publish the titles of local ordinances instead of the full language. Delta wants to post its documents on the city website instead of paying to publish them in a newspaper.
Municipalities with unique questions include Dolores, whose voters will decide whether to let off-road vehicles drive on some streets; selling some property in Estes Park; trash collections in Lyons; letting Black Hills Energy provide natural gas for Montrose residents; and whether to continue adding fluoride to the water in Rangely.