Colorado Election 2019 Results: What We Saw And Heard

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
A ballot flies through a verifier machine at a Jefferson County elections facilty in Golden, July 1, 2019.

It's Election Day in Colorado!

Among the things we're following statewide in addition to Proposition CC and Proposition DD: We're wondering whether Coloradans will raise taxes on tobacco — including e-cigarettes — in several municipalities. We're watching school districts asking for more money for school safety. We're curious about the fate of library funding in Pueblo, Manitou Springs, Loveland and elsewhere.

Stick with us here throughout the day for updates from the field, and follow overall results right here.

10:22 p.m.
That's all folks. What a night, huh? Here's a round-up of what happened:

See you when the sun's up! ??️

10:18 p.m.
Another non-CC or DD note as we wrap up this live blog.

A number of communities in Colorado approved more taxpayer money for school safety in the form of tax increases, mill levies or selling school bonds.

School districts in Larimer, Weld and Routt counties can also put money toward improving school safety or adding school resource officers. Some measures also added money for mental health services for students.

9:42 p.m.
Let's do a rundown of ballot news unrelated to Propositions CC and DD.

The 11th library funding initiatives has broken the 5-5 tie of approved and defeated. Pueblo approved a measure that raises taxes for their public library system.

In Aurora, the current runner-up mayoral candidate is refusing to concede. Omar Montgomery currently trails former Congressman Mike Coffman 32 percent to 39 percent.

In Moffatt County, the city of Craig approved retail marijuana.

9:22 p.m.

How quickly the winds of fortune change.

Proposition DD is trailing again after a brief pop into the lead. It is now .06 percent behind with a difference of just 758 votes.

9:08 p.m.
After trailing behind in the last several returns, Proposition DD is back ahead. Baaaaaarely.

The sports betting measure is now .02 percent ahead by a difference of just 333 votes. This will likely go overnight.

8:48 p.m.
The Associated Press has called Proposition CC as defeated.

The mood at the No on CC party was celebratory from early on. Independence Institute executive vice president Amy Cooke was hopeful the defeat of the ballot measure would set a precedent.

"I hope they bring on full [TABOR] repeal so we can smack that into the ground and end that talk right now," Cooke said. "I think a full repeal will be absolutely crushed."

Attendees at the Yes on CC party, while feeling defeated, hoped Proposition CC raised awareness of the issues with TABOR.

"So, I'm of course disappointed that it's failing. But I'm not disappointed that we moved forward with the idea," Colorado Speaker of the House KC Becker said.

8:32 p.m.
A number of Colorado public library systems needed more money to stop losing hours and programming. Only a few are getting the resources they need from voters.

Out of the 11 measures across the state, preliminary results are in for 10. Five passed and five failed, including one in Delta County. Ballot Issue 7A is failing 58.5 percent to 41.5 percent.

"We're all going to be saddened by this outcome," said Tracy Ihnot, who works in communications for Delta County Public Libraries. "I mean the reality is the library district will still exist. And we're going to continue to provide the best possible library services for Delta County within the constraints that we have …. Because it's clear that, at least at this time, the voters of Delta County do not support restoring hours and expanding services."

CPR reporter Stina Sieg visited Delta County's libraries before the election.

8:15 p.m.
There are a few more ballots recorded, 1,036,175 now.

Propositions CC and DD's positions haven't shifted much in the votes, but there's a lot of movement at the CC parties.

Attendees are leaving the Yes on CC party, but they have not officially conceded.

However, the No on CC crowd has declared victory and is celebrating.

Elsewhere in the state, voters in Boulder, Summit, Pitkin and Eagle counties along with Crested Butte, New Castle and Glenwood Springs are largely approving adding a tax hike to tobacco products.

8 p.m.
We've crossed the million ballot mark! And Proposition DD now leans toward the no votes, just barely.

Opponents lead 50.1 percent to supports at 49.9 percent with 1,011,653 ballots counted.

Proposition CC supporters continue to fall behind to opponents at 44 percent to 56 percent.

7:58 p.m.
We're almost at the 1 million vote mark.

Proposition CC supporters continue to fall behind to opponents at 44 percent to 56 percent, or 424,296 votes to 530,436.

Proposition DD remains tied at 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent, with a difference of just 100,000 votes.

7:51 p.m. via Bente Birkeland and Nathaniel Minor
At the Yes on CC watch party, lots of people are standing around with worried expressions, especially after they are seeing results coming in from more and more places like Jefferson County showing that CC did not win there.

"We were mainly concerned about turnout. Turnout is key," said Democratic state Sen. Lois Court of Denver.

At the No on CC party, the opposition's lead is inspiring some quiet confidence.

"We have a marginal lead. There are plenty of votes left out, but we’re confident we will pull this out,"said Michael Fields, executive director of Colorado Rising Action.

7:42 p.m.

More ballots!

There are now 792,507 votes counted. The no votes on Proposition CC continue to lead, at 44 percent to 56 percent.

Proposition DD's lead has narrowed to practically a tie, 51 to 49 percent.

Earlier today Magellan Strategies reported that more than 1.2 million ballots had been returned, and projected that would grow to around 1.4 million.

So, by that math, we could be over halfway counted.

7:32 p.m.
We jinxed it!

Several hundreds of thousands of ballots were just added, bringing the total to 512,504 with nearly 22 percent of precincts reporting.

Proposition CC is no longer ahead. No votes lead 54 percent to 46 percent. Proposition DD's lead has narrowed but stays, at 54 percent to 46 percent. (Yes, that's a perfect mirror.)

7:30 p.m.
It looks like incoming ballot tallies have slowed for now.

With 187,683 votes cast from just over 9 percent of precincts, Propositions CC and DD have maintained their leads, but they have narrowed. Yes votes for CC lead 54 percent to 46 percent, and for DD, 56 percent against 44 percent.

In the race to be the next Aurora mayor, Mike Coffman has an early lead with 39 percent of the vote, followed by Omar Montgomery at 31 percent.

7:12 p.m.
Denver and Costilla counties were the early birds.

In the first statewide results from the Secretary of State's office, those were the only two counties reporting, with 77,720 votes, or 2 percent of all registered voters.

Propositions CC and DD have leads now, but it's just the beginning.

7:07 p.m.
Meanwhile, CPR politics reporter Bente Birkeland is with Proposition CC's supporters tonight. Guests include Colorado's Speaker of the House, KC Becker, and former state treasurer and Denver mayoral candidate Cary Kennedy.

7:05 p.m.
Denver City and County results are coming in earlier than statewide numbers. In short: Denverites like Propositions CC and DD and all four local questions. Check out Denverite for the full breakdown.

7:01 p.m.

Polls are closed. But if you are in line to vote, stay in line!

6:49 p.m.

CPR reporter Nathaniel Minor is hanging out with the opponents of Proposition CC tonight.

6:32 p.m.
CPR Politics reporter Bente Birkeland wasn't alone when she stopped by Lakewood City Hall tonight.

6:30 p.m.
It's almost closing time at the polls, folks.

As the results roll in, we'll keep you updated here. You can also check in with CPR and Denverite reporters who are focusing on specific ballot measures.

5:55 p.m.
Voters are still casting their ballots in Denver at the city's Election Division Headquarters downtown.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Last-minute voters at Denver Elections Division headquarters on Bannock Street.
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A last-minute voter at Denver Elections Division headquarters on Bannock Street.

Steve Harley, an election judge, helped guide voters through the balloting process.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Steve Harley, an election judge, spent Tuesday evening guiding voters through the balloting process at Denver Elections Division headquarters on Bannock Street.
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Steve Harley, an election judge, spent Tuesday evening guiding voters through the balloting process at Denver Elections Division headquarters on Bannock Street.

Voters have until 7 p.m. to get in line to vote at polling places.

4:52 p.m.
We have some numbers!

Magellan Strategies released ballot return data as of this afternoon, and 1,225,055 Coloradans cast a vote.

The trends we saw throughout the past two weeks continued to be true. Republicans and older still lead in returns, and unaffiliated voters just barely edged out Democrats.

  • Republicans: 443,808
  • Democrats: 383,020
  • Unaffiliated voters: 384,595
  • Age 55 and older: 766,771
  • Under age 55: 458,284

But Democrats and voters under 55 started to catch up on Election Day, as per past years.

We'll get an even clearer picture in about two hours when polls close. See you then!

3:44 p.m.
A break in your regularly scheduled election programming to shout-out the Windsor precinct in Denver. What's your secret?

3:30 p.m. via Stina Sieg
As of early Tuesday morning, nearly 40 percent of Mesa County’s nearly 97,000 active voters had already cast their ballot, either by mail or in-person.

Outside the county’s election office in Grand Junction, one of the county’s three polling places, the parking lot was uncharacteristically full, with a steady stream of people walking up to the collection box, ballot in hand.

Robin Adams, who considers herself an independent, said she didn’t used to be as politically active as she is now.

What changed her outlook? The 2016 presidential election.

“There's so much going on right now, and I think it's critical that everybody votes, you know, that everybody voices their opinion, and stand up for what's right,” Adams said.

That’s why, even though no one issue in particular pushed her to vote this time around, she wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to have her voice be heard, she said. When asked if she was going to vote in the next presidential election, she laughed. She joked that if she could, she’d vote in it today.

This year’s election is important, but in 2020, “everyone must say what they stand up for,” she said.

“And if you don’t speak now you may not have a chance later.”

1:36 p.m. via Stina Sieg
The parking lot at Grand Junction's polling place, a county services building, has been a busy place today. Cars are constantly coming and going. Toby the dog, though, didn't seem to mind.

Stina Sieg/CPR News

As of the lunch hour, Mesa County said that more than 30 percent of ballots had been returned so far.

12:44 p.m. via Natalia Navarro
Beyond the statewide issues, Lakewood is asking voters if they can contract with private trash haulers. Officials say Ballot Question 2F would increase access to recycling and composting service. These are the local things in an election that really seem to get neighbors talking.

"It got pretty contentious online," said Lisa McGee as she dropped her ballot off. She voted "no."

Natalia Navarro/CPR News

To her, it seemed the move would cost more money and be less effective. On the other hand, Jack Keith in the opposite way. He says he gets four trucks on his street on trash day: "It'll be more efficient and less gas burned."

11:46 a.m. via Natalia Navarro
A general theme from voters at the polls today: voting is as important in small municipal elections as it is in presidential elections.

Natalia Navarro/CPR News

"I just think it's my responsibility," said Bruce Barker at a ballot drop box in Lakewood. "If you're going to have an opinion or complain or praise what's going on, you have to be part of the process."

"Whether it be a presidential election or something that carries more national weight, it starts in the smaller venues, basically," he said. "A city council or a school board, it starts there."

11:16 a.m. via Esteban L. Hernandez and The Associated Press
Colorado's state Constitution requires voters to approve new taxes, which is why both Proposition CC and DD are on the ballot. Both measures were referred for the statewide vote by the Democrat-led legislature, in keeping with the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

It's up to voters to decide to let the state government keep, rather than refund, excess tax revenue, and legalize sports betting (and fund water projects), respectively.

Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite

“It’s just one of those natural things to do,” Samuel Domond said about voting as he dropped off his ballot at the Montbello Rec Center on the northeast side of Denver.

He said he was a yes vote on CC and a no on DD.

10:48 a.m. via Natalia Navarro
Chelsie Fleischer was dropping her ballot off in Lakewood. She voted in favor of JeffCO's Ballot Measure 1A in hopes of more funding for public schools. County commissioners are asking voters to suspend their TABOR refunds for seven years to channel that money into county services.

Natalia Navarro/CPR News

"I'm a little skeptical," Fleischer told CPR News. "They [JeffCO] tend to mismanage money, so I hope that if it does pass and there's this excess of budget that they'll truly use it for what it needs to be used for. But I don't always trust that they will."

9:36 a.m.
Do you need an election palette cleanser? Then you are in luck — there are options! Today happens to be an SCFD free day at Chatfield Farms in Littleton. After you drop off your ballot or vote in person, you can then mosey on over to enjoy the trails, animal-spotting and the relaxing farm.

We've also got an alternative read for your online needs today: 10 Things That Are Not The Colorado Election.

8:06 a.m.
You're on your way, right? Drive-through voters dropped off ballots Tuesday at the Hiawatha Davis Jr. Recreation Center polling station on Holly Street in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

7:00 a.m.
Good Morning! Polling centers are open. It's time to help Democracy happen. Here's a quick guide to get you started if you are the last-minute voting type: