Overview of 2020 Ballot Measures

Vote at The Independence Center

The Independence Center is a Voter Service and Polling Center. You can register to vote, update voter registration, request a ballot replacement, vote using an ADA accessible ballot machine, or drop off your ballot:

When

Friday, October 30, 2020: 8am-5pm

Saturday, October 31, 2020: 8am-5pm

Monday, November 2, 2020: 7am-7pm

Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020: 7am-7pm

(all voters in line by 7:00pm on Election Day will be allowed to vote)

Where

The Independence Center

729 South Tejon St.

Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Voting at The Independence Center

Voter Resources

To check on your voter registration: GoVoteColorado.gov

Track your ballot: https://colorado.ballottrax.net/voter/

Colorado Blue Book: https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/blue_book_english_for_web_2020_1.pdf

Judicial Performance Reviews: http://www.coloradojudicialperformance.gov/

League of Women Voters: https://www.vote411.org/colorado

SignVote 2020 (Resources for Deaf Voters): https://signvote.org/

FAQ for Voters with Disabilities: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/FAQs/ElectorsWithDisabilities.html

Complete list of El Paso County Voter Service and Polling Centers: https://secure25.securewebsession.com/elpasoelections.com/2020General/2020GeneralElectionVSPC_MailBallotLocations.pdf

 

Election day is November 3, 2020. Ballots must be received by 7pm.


Audio Blue Book

If you would like to hear the audio version of the 2020 ballot measures, you can access a recording of the Colorado Blue Book at the URL link below.

https://myctbl.cde.state.co.us/legislative-blue-book-2020


Overview of 2020 Ballot Measures for the State of Colorado and Colorado Springs

 

In addition to this year’s presidential election, registered voters in Colorado will be deciding a variety of state and local ballot measures. To help individuals better understand these measures, The Independence Center has put together a simple, nonpartisan overview of the issues facing voters on a state level and in Colorado Springs.

Complete information on the state ballot measures can be found in the Colorado Blue Book at  https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/blue_book_english_for_web_2020_1.pdf

Ballot Box IconAmendment B: Repeal Gallagher Amendment

 

Summary

Repeals the Gallagher Amendment of 1982, which limits the residential and non-residential property tax assessment rates so that residential property taxes amount to 45% of the total share of state property taxes and non-residential property taxes amount to 55% of the total share of state property taxes.

 

A YES vote:

Supports repealing the fixed ratio of 45% residential and 55% non-residential. Assessment rates for all property types will remain the same. Future increases in assessment rates will require a vote of the people.

 

A NO vote:

Supports maintaining the limit on residential and non-residential property tax assessment rates. This will likely result in a decreasing residential assessment rate in addition to automatic local mill levy increases in places where required by law.

 

Supporters say:

Repealing the Gallagher Amendment allows for more flexibility in property tax assessment and will subsequently provide more funds to a state budget that is fiscally constrained due to a stringent residential to commercial property tax ratio. Allowing flexibility in revenue intake from property taxes will help fund schools, healthcare, and other public costs. The Gallagher Amendment is based on a statewide ratio that doesn’t take local economic factors into account, meaning property-rich areas dictate local tax policy for the whole state. In areas where property values have stagnated, there is little public funding from other revenue streams available when residential taxes get cut due to these statewide mandates. The Gallagher Amendment also increases taxes on businesses in order to keep the required ratio, which can put undue burden on small businesses and low-income communities without a large commercial tax base.

 

Opponents say:

The Gallagher Amendment provides relief for homeowners from rising housing costs, and landlords may increase rent due to rising costs. Additionally, lawmakers might face political pressure to cut business taxes if assessment rates are not set by the constitution.

Ballot Box IconAmendment C: Conduct of Charitable Gaming

 

Summary

Requires charitable organizations to have existed for three years before obtaining a charitable gaming license instead of five years; allows charitable organizations to hire managers and operators of gaming activities so long as they are not paid more than the minimum wage.


A YES vote:

Supports lowering the required number of years a nonprofit organization must have existed in order to obtain a bingo-raffle license to three years, allows these games to be conducted by workers who are not members of the organization, and allows worker compensation up to minimum wage.

 

A NO vote:

Supports no change in current requirements that nonprofit organizations must operate in Colorado for five years before obtaining a bingo-raffle license. Maintains that workers must be unpaid volunteers who are members of the organization.

 

Supporters say:

This measure makes it easier for nonprofit organizations to raise funds for their programs. Allowing worker compensation reduces the burden of having to find volunteers to run operations and expanding licenses to newer nonprofits allows for additional fundraising opportunities.

 

Opponents say:

This measure professionalizes bingo-raffle operations; paying workers could potentially reduce the amount of funding nonprofits raise.

Ballot Box IconAmendment 76: Citizenship Qualification of Voters

 

Summary

Specifies that only U.S. citizens who are age 18 or older may vote, disallowing 17-year-olds from voting in a primary election as long as they turn 18 by the general election, which is current law. Changes the verbiage from “every citizen” being eligible to vote to “only a citizen.”

 

A YES vote:

Would prevent 17-year-olds from voting in primary elections when eligible, and it would change the citizenship language of the Colorado Constitution from “every citizen” is eligible to vote to “only a citizen” is eligible to vote.

 

A NO vote:

Would keep Colorado law the same. Seventeen-year-olds would maintain the right to vote in primary elections if they will turn 18 by the general election. This measure would have no impact on voting requirements related to residency and registration and does not change current election law prohibiting noncitizens from voting.

 

Supporters say:

The Constitution should be changed to make clear that non-citizens cannot vote.

 

Opponents say:

Amendment 76 will result in voter confusion and is divisive. It will strip 17-year-olds of their right to vote. It claims to solve non-issue with regard to non-citizens voting, and in the process, it disenfranchises young voters.

Ballot Box IconAmendment 77: Local Voter Approval of Casino Bet Limits and Games

 

Summary

Allows voters in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek to determine expansion of allowed gaming types and bet limits.

 

A YES vote:

Supports allowing voters in the only towns in Colorado where gaming is legal— Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek Cities — to approve a maximum single bet limit of any amount and expand allowable game types in addition to slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps.

 

A NO vote:

Maintains current casino bet limits ($100) and games will be limited to slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps. A statewide vote will remain required to make any changes to these restrictions.

 

Supporters say:

This amendment allows the people of Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek Cities to make the decisions that are best for their communities. This Amendment will also likely increase funding for community college financial aid, school instruction, workforce development, and student support programs. The added revenue from this amendment will help with the economic downturn.

 

Opponents say:

Removing bet limits may exacerbate problem gambling. Additionally, opponents argue that other cities will not receive any of the tax revenue, even though they may be impacted by additional traffic due to increased gambling.

Ballot Box IconProposition EE: Taxes on Nicotine Products

 

Summary

Increases taxes on tobacco, creates a new tax on nicotine products such as e-cigarettes, and dedicates funds to education and health programs.

 

A YES vote:

Increases taxes on tobacco products and creates a new tax on nicotine products and dedicates revenue to funding education, housing, tobacco prevention, healthcare, and preschool.

 

A NO vote:

Supports maintaining current taxes on tobacco and nicotine products.

 

Supporters say:

Tax increases could deter nicotine and tobacco consumption and thereby increase public health. This measure helps fund education, particularly during a time of budget cuts. With a particular focus on preschool programs, this funding supports child development and working parents.

 

Opponents say:

Increasing nicotine and tobacco sales tax imposes financial burden on consumers, particularly low-income users. These products are addictive, so users will likely continue using them despite a price increase. Funding measures that depend on individual consumers are regressive taxation and only a temporary funding measure for public programs that need long-term funding solutions.

Ballot Box IconProposition 113: Adopt Agreement to Elect U.S. President By National Popular Vote

 

Summary

Joins Colorado into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement among participating states that the presidential candidate who receives most total votes nationwide is elected. Colorado’s electoral votes would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote once the agreement becomes binding.

 

A YES vote:

Supports Colorado joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

 

A No vote

Opposes Colorado joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

 

Supporters say:

A national popular vote ensures every person’s vote is valued equally and that the choice of the majority of people in this country is valued. This ensures that one person, one vote, is properly carried out, and that presidential candidates focus on all 50 states, not just states that are strategic to campaign in due to inequalities awarded by the Electoral College. Because of how Electors are allocated, some states have more representation in the Electoral College than others, which is not representative of the diversity of interests and needs in the U.S.

 

Opponents say:

Colorado should cast its electoral votes for the candidate who received the most votes in Colorado, not nationally. Opponents believe that less populated areas need more representation through the Electoral College, otherwise cities will get most of the attention from candidates.

Ballot Box IconProposition 114: Reintroduction and Management of Gray Wolves

 

Summary

Reintroduces gray wolves on public lands west of the Continental Divide.

 

A YES vote:

Supports requiring the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to develop a plan to reintroduce gray wolves on public lands west of the Continental Divide.

 

A NO vote:

Colorado will not be required to reintroduce gray wolves.

 

Supporters say:

Reintroducing gray wolves is necessary to preserve ecological balance, such as regulating deer and elk population to prevent overgrazing on sensitive habitats. Gray wolves have been largely eliminated from their natural habitats due to human interference and reintroduction is necessary to ensure a permanent gray wolf population.

 

Opponents say:

Gray wolves can cause conflict with humans and animals by preying on livestock or being introduced in areas where people live and recreate.

Ballot Box IconProposition 115: Prohibit Abortions After 22 Weeks

 

Summary

Prohibits abortion after 22 weeks gestational age, creates a criminal penalty for anyone who performs a prohibited abortion, and requires the state to suspend the medical license for at least three years for any physician who violates this measure.

 

A YES vote:

Prohibits abortions after 22 weeks gestational age and creates subsequent criminal and professional repercussions for physicians who perform a prohibited abortion.

 

A NO vote:

Supports maintaining current abortion laws and allowing abortions after 22 weeks gestational age.

 

Supporters say:

Colorado needs more abortion limits, and fetuses can sometimes be viable outside of the womb at 22 weeks.

 

Opponents say:

Abortion should be a choice between a pregnant person and their doctor, not a choice dictated by the state. Each pregnancy is unique, and this abortion ban makes no distinctions based on fetus viability or abnormal health conditions or the pregnant person’s own health conditions, nor does it make any exceptions for rape or incest. This measure restricts one’s bodily autonomy and would likely force those facing an unwanted pregnancy to travel to another state with different abortion restrictions and face exorbitant associated healthcare costs.

Ballot Box IconProposition 116: State Income Tax Rate Reduction

 

Summary

Decreases the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%.

 

A YES vote:

Supports decreasing state income tax for individuals, estates, trusts, and foreign and domestic C corporations (corporations that pay income tax) operating in Colorado.

 

A NO vote:

Opposes decreasing state income tax for individuals, estates, trusts, and foreign and domestic C corporations (corporations that pay income tax) operating in Colorado.

 

Supporters say:

This measure would allow individuals to keep more money from their income, thereby promoting spending to strengthen the economy. Struggling households need money more than the general fund does.

 

Opponents say:

A decrease in income tax gives an outsized share of money to the wealthy. The tax relief that low- and middle-income earners will receive is minimal compared to the cuts it will make to public services that they rely on. The saved money from this income tax decrease would be nominal for most families and services like K-12 schools and healthcare will be affected.

Ballot Box IconProposition 117: Voter Approval for Certain New State Enterprises

 

Summary

Requires voter approval of new enterprises that are exempt from TABOR if their revenue is greater than $100 million within its first five years.

 

A YES vote:

Supports requiring voter approval for any new state enterprise with a projected revenue over $100 million in its first five years.

 

A NO vote:

Supports no change in requirements for new state enterprises.

 

Supporters say:

Voters should determine the size and scope of our state budget. TABOR requires voter approval for tax increases, and this should apply to new enterprises as well.

 

Opponents say:

This measure would worsen the fiscal constraints of Colorado’s general fund, particularly given the current budget cuts due to COVID.  It ties the hands of legislators, local governments, and public institutions like public colleges to fund programs without first asking voter approval on the ballot.

Ballot Box IconProposition 118: Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

 

Summary

Creates a statewide program for paid medical and family leave.

 

A YES vote:

Supports creating a paid family and medical leave program to provide workers with 12 weeks paid leave funded through a payroll tax by employers and employees.

 

A NO vote:

Opposes creating a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado.

 

Supporters say:

Paid leave is necessary for the health of Coloradans, and workers shouldn’t have to sacrifice a job in order to care for the health of themselves or a family member. Only 18% of current workers have access to paid leave. This measure will strengthen the workforce and the economy.

 

Opponents say:

The measure will be costly to businesses who will have to fund it through a payroll tax. Additionally, employees will have to pay into this program, which they may never have to use themselves.

City of Colorado Springs Ballot Measures

Ballot Box IconColorado Springs Ballot Issue 2A: TABOR Revenue Retention and Revenue & Spending Limitations

 

Summary

Under TABOR, revenue and spending limitations are based upon the prior year’s revenues. The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced City revenue, which will limit future revenue growth. Issue 2A seeks to do two things. First, TABOR limitations will be based on 2019 revenues, rather than 2020. Second, allow the City to retain and spend $1.9 million (approximately $8 per taxpayer), for public safety (police and fire departments only).

 

A YES vote:

Supports the City of Colorado Springs in retaining excess revenue for use toward public safety (police and fire) and allows city budgets of upcoming years to have revenue caps not limited by the fiscal constraints of 2020.

 

A NO vote:

Supports refunding a nominal amount of money per household rather than retaining funds for police and fire, and keeps the TABOR basis at 2020’s reduced revenue.

 

Supporters say:

The ratchet down effect of TABOR in 2020 due to COVID will take many years to recover from and will be devastating for growth. The retained $1.9M will allow for funding of needed police and fire services.

 

Opponents say:

Some oppose this ballot measure because they want to retain their tax dollars. Others oppose this measure because they are concerned about the revenue being allocated to public safety rather than other public services.

Colorado Springs Ballot Issues 2B and 2C

 

These ballot issues are two different proposed solutions to the conveyance of parkland (transfer of ownership). Either issue must receive 50% (plus one vote) to be passed. If both pass the issue with the most total votes will become law. If neither measure receives a majority of votes, current standards for conveyance of parkland will remain (simple majority vote by Colorado Springs City Council).

Ballot Box IconColorado Springs Ballot Issue 2B: Parkland Conveyances By Election of the Voters

 

Summary

Requires the city to gain voter approval for parkland conveyance (transfer of ownership).

 

A YES vote:

Supports requiring the voters of Colorado Springs to approve sale, trade, and ownership of parkland rather than elected officials.

 

A NO vote:

Supports City Council in having the authority to transfer of ownership of parklands.

 

Supporters say:

Our parklands are too important to allow elected officials to decide when to sell them and voters should approve each proposed sale/transfer.

 

Opponents say:

This measure goes too far. Requiring a public vote will require the city to wait until an election to make decisions regarding conveyance and will cost money.

Ballot Box IconColorado Springs Ballot Issue 2C: Parkland Conveyances By Supermajority of City Council

 

Summary

Amends City Charter to require that parkland conveyances (transfer of ownership) must be passed by a supermajority vote of City Council (7 of 9 votes).

 

A YES vote:
Supports increasing the requirement for parkland conveyance votes by City Council to a super majority vote (7 of 9). City Council retains the authority to make decisions on sale and trade of parklands.

 

A NO vote:

Keeps the requirement for a 5-4 vote of City Council or, if 2B passes with more votes than 2C, gives the vote to the people.

 

Supporters say:

City councilmembers should be given the flexibility to quickly make decisions regarding parkland conveyances. Requiring voter approval may take too much time to seize on opportunities for conveyance of public land, and elections incur costs whereas a vote by City Council does not.

 

Opponents say:

Voters should have choice over our parklands because in the past, politicians have moved too quickly on conveying parklands to private entities, selling public lands which we will never get back. The process for relinquishing parklands from public control should include the people who own the land, not simply elected officials.