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2021 Voters Guide, information on the upcoming election

Election Day is Nov. 2
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Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

The 2020 General Election saw a record number voter turnout rates. In 2021, voters have another chance to change politics, this time on a local level. Colorado ballots will be mailed out on Oct. 8 to all registered voters. Election day is Nov. 2.

The guide below provides information on topics voters in the area may see. Ballots may appear different depending on where an individual lives. Please email us at infor@longmontleader.com if you have questions you would like answered on this page. The Voters Guide will be updated as more information becomes available. 

How to register to vote

Voters can register online with a valid Colorado driver’s license or ID Card. Those without either form of identification or who prefer a paper option can print and fill out the Colorado Voter Registration Form and mail it to Colorado Department of State, Elections Division, 1700 Broadway, Suite 200, Denver, CO 80290 or scan the signed form and email it to the county clerk and recorder:

Boulder County Clerk and Recorder, Molly Fitzpatrick

Weld County Clerk and Recorder, Carly Koppes

When to register to vote

Colorado allows for voters to register until 7 p.m. on Election Day. However, if voters would like to receive a ballot in the mail, the deadline to register is Oct. 25. Voters are also encouraged to review and update their information prior to the Oct. 25 deadline to receive a mail ballot.

Who is eligible to register to vote

  • You must meet the following requirements to register to vote:
  • are a United States citizen
  • are 16 years old, but you must be at least 17 to vote in a primary election if you will be 18 on or before the next general election
  • are 16 years old, but you must be at least 18 to vote in any other election
  • are a Colorado resident for at least 22 days immediately before the election you intend to vote in
  • are not currently serving a term of imprisonment for a felony conviction

    Those arrested for or convicted of a crime are eligible to register to vote if they:
  • are on probation for either a misdemeanor or felony
  • are a pretrial detainee awaiting trial;
  • are currently in jail serving a misdemeanor sentence only; OR
  • are no longer serving a term of imprisonment due to a felony conviction.
  • Colorado prefers that those registering have a Colorado driver’s license or an ID card issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue. If these nor a social security number can be provided the applicant may be required to provide an alternative acceptable form of identification.

How to cast your ballot

Mail-in your ballot

Ballots are scheduled to be mailed out to ALL registered voters by Oct. 8.

Newly registered voters who complete the form at least eight days prior to the election, Oct. 25, will automatically receive a ballot in the mail.

Drop off your mailed ballot

Boulder and Weld County voters can drop their ballots in drop boxes. Find the locations here:

Boulder County drop box locations

Vote in person

In-person voting centers will open throughout Boulder County starting Oct. 25. A current and valid ID is required.

How to know your ballot is being processed

Weld and Boulder Counties participate in Ballottrax, which allows you to track your ballot once you drop it in the mail or a ballot box. To register or login, click here for Boulder County and here for Weld County.

What’s on your ballot

You can look up your exact ballot here, so you can see ahead of time what choice you’ll have to make.

Other voter resources

Voter registration FAQ

League of Women Voters information

 


Key races

Here's a rundown of key races and ballot questions. We'll do further exploration of these races, including Q&As with some candidates, throughout the election season, so check back.

Longmont Mayor:

Gregory Harris

Joan Peck

Tim Waters

City Council At-Large Candidates:

Diane Crist

Jeremy Dejuan Johnson 

Sean McCoy

Aren Rodriguez 

Tallis Salamatian

Shiquita Yarbrough 

City Council Ward II Candidates:

Marcia Martin (incumbent) 

Municipal Judge Retention Question: Shall Municipal Judge Robert J. Frick be retained in office for two (2) years?

St. Vrain Valley School District RE-1J Board of Education Director in Director District B (4 Years)

Karen Ragland

St. Vrain Valley School District RE-1J Board of Education Director in Director District D (4 Years)

Tyler Gearhart

Meosha Brooks

St. Vrain Valley School District RE-1J Board of Education Director in Director District F (4 Years)

Natalie Abshier 

Sarah Hurianek 

Ballot Questions:

Amendment 78: Legislative Authority for Spending State Money

Amendment 78 is an amendment to the Colorado Constitution and the Colorado statutes. If passed it would allow the state legislature to allocate where custodial money is spent. 

Custodial money is defined by the state as money received by the state that must be used for a particular purpose. These funds are not typically included in the state’s budget. 

As an example, in 2020, the state received $1.67 billion in federal relief funds. These funds were spent according to the Govenor’s executive order. 

The amendment would deposit all custodial funds into a new fund — the Custodial Funds Transparency Fund. Any interest from this fund would go into the General Fund where it could be allocated for any purpose. 

If passed this measure would allow for more transparency and accountability of custodial funds, shifting the decision-making from program experts and independent commissions to state legislatures. Laws currently allow the Governor, Attorney General and some unelected administrators in state agencies to spend custodial funds without public input and accessible public records. 

However, the extra accountability could delay or interrupt services including emergency responses. The state legislature would be responsible for directing all the custodial funds — which arrive throughout the year. The state legislature is out of session May through December. If the amendment should pass, the legislature would need to establish a process to address this issue or call a special session. 

Adding additional steps to the process could also hurt Colorado’s competitiveness for grant awards.

Proposition 119: Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program

This measure would create a Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress program. The program would provide Colorado youth with financial assistance to access out-of-school learning and enrichment opportunities including tutoring, targeted assistance for youth with special needs, second language training, additional academic learning support materials, career and technical educational training programs, social/emotional learning and mental health services. 

In order to fund this program, the proposal would allow the state legislature to increase retail marijuana taxes by 5% over three years. An additional $20 million annually would be diverted from the State Land Trust to the State Public School Fund. 

Financial aid for youth would prioritize families at or below the federal poverty level, followed by students from families with incomes up to twice that amount. The federal poverty level in 2021 is $26,600 for a family of four. 

Supporters argue that even before COVID closures, out-of-school programs were needed to meet the needs of students who lagged behind in reading, writing and math. Not only would these students get the help they needed but a board would be in place to certify providers and creating accountability.

The opposition argues that the measure would direct public money to private service providers instead of supporting Colorado public schools and allowing them to expand their capacity and reinstate previously cut programs. 

Further opposition suggests the hike in retail marijuana taxes will increase the demand for black-market marijuana and create a greater financial burden on low-income individuals. 

Proposition 120: Property Tax Assessment Rate Reduction

Proposition 120, if it should pass, would lower property tax assessment rates for multifamily housing and lodging properties — such as hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts. It could provide targeted tax relief in hopes of easing the pressures of rent and encouraging multifamily development in Colorado. The measure could also decrease lodging rates, enticing more visitors to Colorado and increasing the need to hire and retain more employees. 

The proposal could reduce property tax revenue at the local level impacting government services and school funding. The reduction in local tax revenue would increase the amount of funding required by the state of Colorado. Any funds not offset by the state’s contribution could result in lower school funding for some districts. 

Hygiene Fire Protection District Ballot Issue 6A

The Hygiene Fire Department would like to increase the mill levy from 9.099 to 13.099 over the next three years with the first year increasing by two mills, the second year by one mill and the third year by one mill. Should the issue pass, the local mills would remain at 13.099 mills in perpetuity. 

At its current 9.099 mills, the Hygiene Fire Department mill levy remains lower than adjacent departments which meet a median of 15.75 mills. 

The Hygiene Fire Department would like to build on-premises accommodations for qualified, volunteer firefighters in order to increase response time, replace response vehicles that are nearly 20-years-old and would average $750,000 in replacement costs, raise on-call pay from $12.50 per hour to the industry standard of $23 per hour and continue with the general maintenance and upkeep of the building and equipment. 


 
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