A recap of municipal election results

The adage “all politics is local” prevailed as 120 Colorado cities and towns held elections earlier this month.

Term limits, sales-tax extensions and sales-tax defeats and pot votes, the Colorado Municipal League has the results:

Broadband
Six municipalities requested and received permission to provide or partner to provide broadband services, including Firestone, Frisco, Lake City, Limon, Lyons, and Severance. This election brings the total of cities and towns who have received voter authorization to 92.

Marijuana
Voters in Naturita passed six separate questions relating to marijuana, voting to allow medical and retail marijuana sales, manufacturing, testing, and cultivation, as well as to implement a sales tax and an excise tax on retail marijuana. Berthoud voters approved allowing municipally licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to add retail sales.

Marijuana taxes passed in Crawford, Delta, Ordway, and Yuma. The lone marijuana tax to fail was in Orchard City.

Term limits
Pagosa Springs voters approved term limits of two consecutive four-year terms, while voters in Glendale approved term limits of three consecutive four-year terms. Lyons voters split the term limit questions, approving an increase to four two-year terms for a mayor, but keeping the limit for trustees at three. Voters in Red Cliff eliminated term limits for their elected officials.

Tax and bond issues
Fruita voters approved the city’s retention of all revenues from 2019 through 2024. Alma, Elizabeth, and Lyons voters passed lodging taxes.

Sales tax questions that passed around the state include:
• Basalt – new sales tax on tobacco and nicotine products
• Cortez – extension of sales tax for family recreation center
• Glendale – modification of current sales tax to remove earmark restricting use to water-related purposes
• Ignacio – new sales tax for capital improvements
• La Veta – extension of current sales taxes for museum expenses and street improvements
• Milliken – extension of sales tax for capital improvements
• Nederland – new sales tax for roads
• Paonia – new sales tax for general operating expenses

The sales tax questions that did not pass include:
• Arriba – for capital improvements
• Crestone – for general operating expenses
• Limon – for capital improvements
• Orchard City – for roads and law enforcement services

Wiley voters approved a mill levy increase, and Carbondale voters approved the extension of a current mill levy, both to fund streets and related improvements. Mill levy increases did not pass in Ault, Orchard City, and Pitkin.
Eckley voters approved $165,000 of debt for sanitation system improvements, Limon voters authorized $8.68 million of debt for capital improvements, and Nederland voters authorized $2 million of debt for wastewater improvements.
Erie’s request for debt authority of $13.75 million for a town hall expansion did not pass.

Publication requirements
Voters approved the publication of ordinances by titles only in Hugo, Kersey, Lake City, Milliken, and Springfield. Pitkin received authorization to no longer publish the bills list or contracts awarded.

Election date
Morrison and Palmer Lake voters approved moving their regular town elections to November of even-numbered years.

Administrative charter amendments
Glendale and Morrison voters approved updates to obsolete provisions of their home rule charter.

Other issues
• Antonito – approved the sale of a public building
• Berthoud – approved a 32.44 acre annexation
• Erie – approved the sale of 0.65 acres of town land
• Frisco – did not approve the sale or lease of a community park for residential use
• Pagosa Springs – approved the elimination of council districts and for council members to be elected at-large

Puerto Rico thanks Secretary Williams

The four secretaries of state who co-sponsored a resolution in support of self determination and equality for Puerto Rico were Luis Rivera Marín of Puerto Rico, Nellie Gorbea of Rhode Island, Wayne Williams of Colorado and Jim Condos of Vermont. (SOS photo)

The people of Puerto Rico have a special place in their hearts for Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams after Williams co-sponsored a resolution supporting the island’s effort toward statehood.

The flags of the United States and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

That’s the word from Puerto Rico’s secretary of state, Luis Rivera Marín, after the National Association of Secretaries of State voted in support of the resolution at its winter conference in Washington, D.C., this week.

The vote on Monday followed a debate where some secretaries said NASS had no business getting involved in Puerto Rico’s quest for statehood.

“I’m so grateful for Secretary Williams’ support for the people of Puerto Rico,” Marín said. “His support has been outstanding and all of the people of Puerto Rico are really grateful for that.”

Read morePuerto Rico thanks Secretary Williams

“Who did I vote for in the last three elections?” and other questions

Election Day is finally here. But first, a few questions from Coloradans.
Election Day is finally here. But first, a few questions from Coloradans.

It’s Election Day and for weeks now our staff has fielded all sorts of questions, including “Can you tell me if my vote for Trump was counted?” and “Can I vote with an Ohio driver’s license?”

Some of these questions we can’t answer. The Colorado Secretary of State oversees elections, but clerks run them, including sending out and counting ballots.

Among the questions we have been asked:

Facebook said that I could vote online but I can’t find the link. That’s because Colorado doesn’t have online voting.

Why are ISIS immigrants being allowed to vote? They’re  not.

Who did I vote for in the last three elections? Your clerk tabulates your ballot, but doesn’t track how you voted.

I need to know whether my son voted. He can’t remember. Tell him to start eating bananas. And to check GoVoteColorado.com.

If I skip one contest or race, will my entire ballot be rejected? Nope. When Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams was the El Paso County clerk and recorder, he said the stats showed some Coloradans voted only for president and a ballot measure legalizing marijuana in 2012.

If I’m registered with one party, am I required to vote for that party’s candidates?  You can vote for anyone — to the relief of a number of Never Trumpers and Bernie backers. 

If I’m unaffiliated, do I still get a ballot? Yes, despite all the hype and hoopla this year.

Do you count my military/overseas ballot even if the election isn’t close? Yes, the counties count all valid ballots even in landslides.

Who are the nine electors for Colorado? That depends on who wins for president in Colorado. It might be nine Democrats, nine Republicans, nine Libertarians or nine Coloradans supporting the Nutrition Party candidate.

Can I vote with an Ohio driver’s license? No. (Go Notre Dame.)

Can you tell me if my vote for Trump was counted? I can’t tell you, but your county clerk knows if your ballot arrived. The clerk has no idea who you voted for.