Colorado Ballot Issues for election Day

5 November 2019

Quinita Thomas

qthomas@uccs.edu

Colorado’s election day is Nov. 5, and this off-year election could decide future funding for UCCS and other state universities because of Proposition CC.

“Most of the issues regard government funding and taxes. Proposition CC is the biggest one,” said Joshua Dunn, a political science instructor at UCCS. “It’s an off-year election, so there aren’t presidential candidates or senate candidates. [DD] and [CC] all involve retaining funding.”

Proposition CC changes measures of the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) that relate to tax surpluses and Proposition DD legalizes and taxes sports betting.

“There is a local TABOR Provision that’s part of the sixth charter, but then there’s also a state Constitutional Amendment for TABOR,” said Dunn. “What TABOR does is it limits the ability of government to decrease taxes or obtain revenue beyond a certain amount. So, if the government wants to keep revenue that exceeds the TABOR limit, they have to go back to the people and ask for their approval for it.”

The TABOR that Dunn refers to are laws in Colorado that mandate that all tax changes must be approved through voter referendum that also estimate the amount of money that the tax expects to raise. Any money raised above that amount must be returned to taxpayers unless another referendum pass allowing the governmental agency to keep the money for the purpose stated in the second referendum.

Proposition CC involves funding for public education, higher education and transportation.

Colorado Proposition DD is also on the ballot. This involves the legalization of sports bedding. If approved, this referendum will allow Colorado legislators to authorize and place a 10 percent tax on sports bedding operations that must function through casinos. The revenue collected from that will be used for Colorado’s water management projects.

Registered voters in Colorado receive a ballot in the mail, allowing them to vote early or drop their ballots off at one of the stations in the city before they close on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.

If students have not registered to vote yet, they are able to register on the Colorado State Department’s website, or they can register to vote at any Colorado Department of Revenue office, especially Division of Motor Vehicles locations.

Dunn says that voting is not only a privilege but is also a responsibility: “It’s an extraordinary privilege that we have as Americans. People around the world are willing to die to have this privilege, and other people have died to give up that privilege. It’s something that should be exercised responsibly. I will in fact do this myself sometimes. Colorado has a lot of ballot issues. If I’m not fully informed on the issue, I simply won’t vote on it.”

He goes on to state, “Another reason I think it’s important is so that people are aware of what government does. The act of voting lets you exercise that right responsibly by being informed of what [the] government is doing. Then you can be a more engaged citizen. You have to have an engaged citizenry in order for the system to function effectively.”