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Election workers were processing ballots at the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

Voters decided on 11 statewide ballot questions on Election Night, five of which came from the General Assembly and six that got to the ballot through citizen initiative. Four of those six are backed by out-of-state corporate entities that spent millions of dollars to get them on the ballot and to pay for advertising campaigns. Indeed, the committees behind three alcohol-related ballot measures have collectively raised nearly $28 million.

Amendment D: constitutional, requires 55% of the vote to pass.

As of 9:30 p.m., the measure appears poised to pass, with 68% supporting it. 

This initiative from the General Assembly asked voters to grant the governor permission to move some of the judges from the 18th Judicial District (that’s Arapahoe, Elbert, Douglas and Lincoln counties) over to the new 23rd Judicial District (Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln only) once that new district goes live Jan. 7, 2025. Judges in the 23rd would have to be residents of the district. The 18th has 24 judges; seven would move over to the new 23rd, assuming they meet the residency requirements, and the governor would appoint one more, to bring the total to eight.

The 23rd will become the first new judicial district since 1964.

The initiative comes from House Concurrent Resolution 22-1005, which had bipartisan sponsorship. No issue committees have been registered in TRACER, the state's campaign finance system, to support or oppose the measure.

Who supports it: state lawmakers. 

Who opposes it: the Judicial Integrity Project.

Amendment E: constitutional, requires 55% of the vote to pass

As of 9:30 p.m., the measure has 88% "yes" votes, more than enough to pass.

This initiative, also from the legislature, would allow the surviving spouses of veterans who die in the line of duty or who die from service-related injury or disease to obtain the state’s homestead property tax exemption. Currently, seniors 65 and older and disabled military veterans are eligible for the exemption, which exempts property taxes on the first $100,000 of property value.

The initiative comes from HCR 22-1003, which was bipartisan.

Who supports it? Path 2 Zero, an issue committee from the Independence Institute, which does not disclose its donors, and state lawmakers.

Who opposes it? None known.

Amendment F: constitutional, requires 55% of the vote to pass

The only constitutional ballot measure that appears to be losing, as of 9:30 p.m., "no" votes are ahead 61% to 39%.

This initiative from the legislature changes the amount of time a charitable organization must exist prior to obtaining a charitable gaming license from five years to three years. It also allows minimum wage to be paid to a manager or operator of a charitable game through June 30, 2024; after that, there would be no restrictions on what a manager or operator could be paid.

The measure behind it, HCR 22-1006, was bipartisan.

Who supports it? Colorado Charitable Bingo Association and state lawmakers.

Who opposes it? Path 2 Zero and Colorado Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Proposition FF: statutory, requires 50% plus one vote to pass

Colorado public school students could receive free daily meals from this measure, which as of 9:30 p.m. is up by 55.2% to 44.8% 

Known as the Healthy Meals for All Public Students measure, HB 22-1414 was proposed by legislative Democrats although it did gain a handful of Republican votes in its trip through the legislature.

The initiative would increase taxes on those making $300,000 per year or more by limiting the amount of state income tax deductions they can claim to $12,000 for individual filers and $16,000 for joint filers. Currently those deductions are $12,950 for single filers and $25,900 for joint filers. Those making $400,000 per year or more have limits of $30,000 and $60,000, respectively.

Who supports it? Healthy School Meals for All Colorado Students, an issue committee funded by Hunger Free Colorado, Healthier Colorado, and teachers unions, among others.

Who opposes it? Path 2 Zero.

Proposition GG: statutory, requires 50% plus one vote to pass

Voters are showing strong support for this measure; as of 9:30 p.m. "yes" votes lead 70.79% to 29.21%.

Senate Bill 22-222, also from legislative Democrats, requires that a ballot measure that increases or decreases state income tax rates include a table showing how much more or less a taxpayer would pay as a result of passage of the ballot measure, based on income categories. This information would be included in the state’s Blue Book.

SB 222 passed on purely party-line votes in the General Assembly.

Who supports it: Coloradans Coming Together, an issue committee funded by the state teacher union along with United for a New Economy, and Coloradans for Ballot Transparency, funded by the dark money group Sixteen Thirty Fund, teachers unions, Conservation Colorado and philanthropist Merle Chambers, CEO of Leith Ventures; and Colorado Common Cause

Who opposes it? Advance Colorado Institute and Path 2 Zero.

Proposition 121: statutory, requires 50% plus one vote to pass

As of 9:30 p.m., the measure has garnered 65.2% of the vote.

The measure, backed by the libertarian Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara and state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, would permanently lower the state’s income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.40%.

Who supports it? Americans for Prosperity Colorado Issue Committee, Advance Colorado, Path 2 Zero and Colorado Character. These issue committees are all tied to "dark money" groups that do not disclose their donors. Other supporters include Colorado Rising Action and Defend Colorado, also dark money-funded groups.

Who opposes it? Issue committees Coloradans Coming Together and Keeping Colorado Great (also funded by teachers unions), and the Bell Policy Center.

Proposition 122: statutory, requires 50% plus one vote to pass

One of the closest races of the night, as of 9:30 p.m. "yes" votes hold a 50.63% to 49.37% lead, a difference of about 20,000 votes.

Known as the Natural Medicine Colorado measure, this would allow legal regulated access to “natural medicine: for persons 21 years of age or older. While the ballot measure doesn’t define the term “natural medicine,” the statutory language that would arise from the measure notes these include Schedule 1 DEA drugs such as psilocybin and other hallucinogenic substances. The ballot measure would also allow people to grow these substances at home but keep them out of the hands of those under the age of 21.

Who supports it? Natural Medicine Colorado, funded by the New Approach PAC of Washington, D.C., whose largest donor is Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps of California; and Citizens for Natural Medicine, an issue committee funded by local cannabis businesses.

Who opposes it? Protect Colorado's Kids, an issue committee started by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (an anti-marijuana group) Executive Vice President Luke Niforatos. The issue committee is funded by dark money. Also opposed by the Native Coalition Against Prop 122; according to Indian Country Today, a "collective of intertribal Indigenous Native American people."

Proposition 123: statutory, requires 50% plus one vote to pass

Another close race on Election Night, as of 9:30 p.m. "yes" votes hold a lead of 50.76% to 49.24%, a difference of about 25,000 votes.

This ballot measure would reduce taxpayer refunds arising from the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) by about $300 million per year, with the revenue going to a variety of affordable housing initiatives.

Who supports it? Coloradans for Affordable Housing Now, which is funded by the nonprofit Gary Ventures, Colorado Low Income Housing Campaign, and Habitat for Humanity, among others.

Who opposes it? Path 2 Zero and Advance Colorado Action.

Three alcohol-related measures, where big-dollar corporations spent more than $25 million, all appear to be in trouble as of 9:30 p.m.

Proposition 124: statutory, requires 50% plus one vote to pass

Voters appear poised to reject this measure; as of 9:30 p.m. "no" votes are ahead by a margin of 62.19% to 37.81%. 

The first of three alcohol-related ballot measures, this would change the number of licenses a liquor store owner could hold. Currently the limit is three; under Proposition 124 it would increase to eight licenses by December 31, 2026, up to 13 licenses by December 31, 2031, up to 20 licenses by December 31, 2036, and an unlimited number of licenses on or after January 1, 2037.

Who supports it? Coloradans for Consumer Choice and Retail Fairness, funded by Colorado Fine Wine & Spirits, LLC, a Maryland-based company owned by U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-MD) and brother Robert; and Path 2 Zero

Who opposes it? Keeping Colorado Local, funded by the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association and local liquor retailers.

Proposition 125: statutory, requires 50% plus one vote to pass

The closest race of the night, as of 9:30 p.m. is too close to call. "No" votes lead by about 4,000 votes out of 1.6 million cast. 

Known as “wine in grocery stores,” this measure would allow grocery and convenience stores to sell wine.

Who supports it? The issue committee Wine in Grocery Stores, funded by DoorDash, 7-22, Albertsons/Safeway, Instacart and Target, among others; and other Path 2 Zero

Who opposes it? Keeping Colorado Local

Proposition 126: statutory, requires 50% plus one vote to pass

As of 9:30 p.m., this measure also appears to be going down to defeat. "No" votes lead with 52.92% of the vote, a difference of about 95,000 votes.

This measure would allow for third-party delivery of alcohol. Current law allows liquor stores to make those deliveries; this would allow any retailer that sells alcohol (grocery and convenience stores, for example), to use third-party services to deliver alcohol to customers.

Who supports it? Wine in Grocery Stores and the Fair Delivery for Small Business issue committee, which is funded by the Colorado Retail Council.

Who opposes it? Keeping Colorado Local and Path 2 Zero

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