Denver Elections Update

February 5, 2022 / Comments (0)


Denver’s Office of the Clerk and Recorder is busy preparing for two elections in 2022 and shares the following news regarding Ballot Access Modernization, Denver’s brand-new campaign finance tool, and the Fair Elections Fund. Ballot Access Modernization Update:

For those who participated in the charter review process last year, you’ll be happy to know that this year, we’ve created the Ballot Access Modernization (BAM) Committee in partnership with Councilwoman Kendra Black. The BAM Committee will:
  • Consider ballot measures to change the way that issues can be put on the Denver municipal ballot through the citizen initiative process or by Denver City Council referral. Current processes are inconsistent, and timing is often impractical, which can limit public engagement, council discussion and analysis.
  • Examine processes, identify challenges, look at best practices (including at the state level), consult with experts and engage with community members to explore opportunities for improvement, ensuring a fair and open process. Topics include:
    • Potential alignment of municipal timeline with state timeline for both citizen-initiated and council-referred measures
    • Single-subject initiatives and ballot titles
    • Petition requirements
    • Municipal Information Booklet requirements
    • Filing deadlines in 15-11(b)(1)
    • Council super-majority requirement to refer a charter change
    • Ballot numbering process
The BAM Committee held its first virtual meeting on Thursday, January 20, 2022. The Committee started conversations about a potential single-subject rule, municipal vs. citizen referendum processes, numbering of initiatives, training and compliance for petition committees and circulators, and online petitions.
The BAM Committee meets on the third Thursday of each month through May. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 17, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.mJoin the meeting via Zoom or watch live on Facebook. Community members will also have the opportunity to engage with the Committee. The Committee will cover:
  • January 20 follow-up items
  • Single-subject, numbering, training and compliance, citizen referendum process
  • Examples of best practices, methods of change (rules, ordinance or charter)
  • Ballot Title Setting Board
  • Municipal Information Booklet

We welcome community questions and comments at [email protected]. All feedback will be available to the Committee for review. Head to our website for more information and to watch recordings of previous meetings. We hope you can take part in this special opportunity to modernize access to the ballot.

Denver’s Office of the Clerk and Recorder also Introduces: SearchLight Denver 

Denver’s new campaign finance system, SearchLight Denver, will provide intuitive search capabilities and clear visuals that show exactly how money is raised and spent in local campaigns. SearchLight Denver will launch this month, bringing much needed upgrades for campaigns, candidates, news media and residents. The new system will also be used to implement the Fair Elections Fund, approved by voters in 2018.
The first phase of the SearchLight Denver rollout includes campaign finance reporting and searchability for the public. An expanded version of the tool will debut in spring 2022 to include an ethics portal. We’re excited to bring transparency, ethics and real usability to the world of campaign finance—stay tuned!

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