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Colorado Ballot Guide - I did the homework so you don't have to

I doubt anyone much cares how I’m voting on the less well-known stuff on the Colorado ballot given that they probably don’t care that much how they cast their own vote!

But on the off chance that I can be helpful, here’s my quick guide on how I voted on the stuff that’s not in the headlines all that much.

Congress District 1

My counter-culture tendencies would like to vote for the Libertarian just because there’s absolutely no hope that anyone other than the Democrat will win in this district. (That’s why I’m voting yes on Y and Z - more on that below.)

But I’m going to vote for Diana DeGette because she’s a proud graduate of Denver South High School, where I went and where my son is going now.

 

Secretary of State

It’s going to be a blue wave this year, no doubt about it. The one guy who might survive is Wayne Williams. I think we have a pretty good tradition in Colorado of keeping politics out of this office, so I’m voting for Williams because he was smart enough to hire the incomparable Lynn Bartles.

 

Colorado Court of Appeals

I actually read the Blue Book for each of the judges, and there was only one who didn’t get a unanimous nod from the State Commission on Judicial Performance: Elizabeth L. Harris. So, that’s enough for a no vote from me. 

From the Blue Book: “Sometimes she unnecessarily reexamines facts and lower courts’ reasoning, which reduces her efficiency and which may create a perception that she is unfair. Lack of timeliness also has been a problem...”

All the rest of them got a unanimous nod, so they all get a Yes vote.

And if I could vote twice, I would for Kerri Lombardi for District court. Is it because I once covered a trial where she was an excellent prosecutor? Maybe a little bit. Actually, the real reason is that she’s another proud graduate of Denver South High School! Is there no end to the glory of that place? ;-)

Denver South High School

That’s Denver South High School in the background. 

 

Amendment V

Change the age for serving in the Legislature from 25 to 21? 

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Whatevs.

Brain development and full rational thinking is just not in place until we hit about 25, experts say

So, that’s a no vote from me.

(Even my son — who’s an intern at the legislature, and would be a wonderful elected official, said that he thinks legislators could use some more impulse control, and he’s studied the science enough to know that even he won’t have full use of that until he is 25 — urges a no vote.)

 

Amendment W

Change the format for the ballot for judicial retention elections.

Really? We have to vote on this? Isn’t this up to some underpaid staffer running MS Word in the bill room?

Mmmkay. I’ll vote yes.

 

Amendment X

Industrial Hemp? What?

Luckily, the swell team at Ballotpedia has a page on this one. The thing I looked for was that Jon Becker was in favor, as was just about everyone else in the statehouse. If they all looked at it and are fine with it, than I am, too. 

Yes.

 

Amendments Y and Z

I may be more passionate about these two than anything else this year in Colorado.

A big part of the reason that politics is so screwed up right now is that the congressional districts are gerrymandered so that the entire race is the primary. Only the extreme edges of the spectrum show up for those, so the race is to see who can out-crazy everyone else.

Then the general election comes and those of us nearer the middle wonder where we got these loony candidates.

These two amendments will take a step toward fixing that.

Two big YES votes on these two.

 

Amendment A

Slavery, as the saying goes, is our country’s original sin.

Can we please pass this? It won’t absolve us, but it needs to be a part of our path to absolution.

 

Amendment 73

I have good friends on both sides of this, but for me I’m voting yes.

  • Money does NOT make for a good education, but a good education is impossible without money.
  • This will make all the TABOR mess even messier. Well, maybe we should fix that?
  • The tax falls more heavily on the rich, who should be doing really well because of the Trump tax cuts, so they won’t even notice it, right?

 

Amendment 74

While reading the text of Amendment 74, I kept thinking of this:

  Itsatrap

So, that’s gonna be a hard pass. 

No on Amendment 74.

 

Amendment 75

This is the one about campaign contributions. If someone donates $1 million to themselves, then all the other limits go out the window.

This is a thoughtful amendment, and it may actually help.

But this is a constitutional amendment, so if it has some unintended consequence, well, we’re screwed.

So I’m a no vote, just barely.

 

Proposition 109

This is the one is trying a bit too hard to be clever, with the whole “Fix our damn roads” name and the idea that there is a magical way to pay for roads without raising taxes.

I was tempted to vote yes because I think this throws another bomb into the TABOR mess (we really should fix that) and because, well, I wish we could fix the damn roads.

But there’s a lot of damn stuff that needs fixing, including dams.

(Reminds me of a joke: What did the fish say when he ran into a concrete wall?

“Darn!”)

I think the legislature needs to do its damn job, and decide how to spend tax dollars. We elect them to make the hard calls between roads, schools, prisons, etc. I say we let them do that job, and we’ll stay out of the way.

I’m a no vote on 109.

 

Proposition 110

This is the other roads one, but it’s done the right way. It comes from the Chamber of Commerce, which isn’t exactly a tax-and-spend kind of group. 

If we want roads to be better, we should stand up and say that we will pay for the roads to be better, and that’s what this does.

Yes on 110.

 

Proposition 111

Payday loans. Why hasn’t the legislature fixed this?

My hunch is that the people who make fistfuls of blood money making these predatory loans have spread just enough of it around that it has kept lawmakers from taking action.

When the legislature can’t get the job done, it’s up to us.

Vote yes on 111.

 

Proposition 112

This one has gotten enough press, so you are going to have to make up your own mind about this.

Luckily, this one is a change to the statute, not the constitution, so even if it does pass, the legislature will be able to fix it, or get rid of it entirely.

 

I hope this has been of some help.

Voting is one of the great honors we have, and I hope that everyone reading this does vote, and then checks to make sure all their friends and family are doing the same.

-Scott