Share Your Opinion on Modernizing Denver Municipal Elections

July 28, 2021 / Comments (0)

General News

UPDATE: July 28, 2021 – Municipal elections in Denver operate on a timeline that fails to consider the practical needs of the mail ballot model, especially for overseas and military voters. To address this, Denver’s Clerk and Recorder convened a charter review committee to examine possible alternatives to the municipal elections timeline and method. The Review Committee completed its review and the clerk has forwarded recommendations to City Council. Read the Clerk and Recorder office’s media release regarding the clerk’s recommendations.

Possible solutions included: moving municipal elections to November or earlier in the spring; plurality or “first-past-the-post” voting, where whoever gets the most votes in May would automatically be elected; approval voting, where voters could vote for as many or as few candidates as they want to; or ranked choice voting, where voters rank their choice of candidates, resulting in an instant run-off.  From over 1,000 responses from Denver residents and community organizations, the Clerk’s office reported that a majority of Denver residents expressed a desire to keep municipal elections in the spring and continue to elect officials based on a majority vote (50 percent plus one).

The folks at Axios Denver have been following this issue and you can read two brief reports on the matter here: Axios Feb 2021 and Axios July 2021.

City Council will now deliberate between now and the end of August on whether to choose the option of Ranked Choice Voting to avoid the need for a runoff or shift the Spring Municipal Elections to an earlier date (than May) to widen the timeline to accommodate military and overseas voters.  Because this will require amending the city’s Charter, voter approval is needed on Nov. 2, 2021.  Please see the Clerk and Recorder’s Office Modernizing Our Elections website page and the Charter Review FAQs to learn more about the background and proposed recommendations and share your concerns/input with your Council representatives.

March 2, 2021 – The City’s Charter Review Committee is seeking your opinion on our municipal election process after a close call during the May 2019 election.  You can read more about this election and the voting format options (rank choose and approval voting) the Committee is considering in this excellent article by Denverite’s reporter David Sachs.

Read more about the Charter Review Committee’s work, Take the Survey and Download the FAQs about the process to prepare you for you vote this coming November on any proposed changes – amending the City’s charter requires a vote of the people.


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