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Denver considers changes to city's elections

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Posted at 10:19 AM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 12:31:04-04

DENVER — As the MLB takes a stand against Georgia’s voter laws by moving the All Star Game to Denver, the City of Denver is considering several changes to its own election system.

The Denver Elections Division is considering changes to the city’s voting method, municipal election dates, and runoffs.

Denver City Councilmember Candi CdeBaca, who represents District 9 told Denver7 that even though overall voter turnout was high in 2020, voter turnout for communities of color in Denver was low.

“A lot of people have been talking about different voter law changes, process changes, that would enfranchise more people, especially historically disenfranchised people,” CdeBaca said.

CdeBaca said the elections division is discussing ways to eliminate runoffs and is considering changing the city's voting method to either approval voting or rank-choice voting.

Additionally, there's a proposal to change the date of the municipal elections from May and June to November.

“The change in date confuses a lot of people, especially a lot of newcomers to the city. So, they don’t know there’s an election for local offices in the summer and they don’t participate. Those are … I would argue, the elected officials that most directly impact people’s everyday lives,” CdeBaca said.

CdeBaca said there are also discussions surrounding eliminating at-large city council seats.

“We have two of them on our city council of 13 (members), they are responsible to everybody, they represent everybody in the city and are basically accountable to nobody and so there are people who want to instead, make those their own districts so that we make our districts more manageable and give people better representation,” CdeBaca said.

CdeBaca told Denver7 that another election issue to pay attention to is redistricting or the drawing of the voting map which will be happening at the state, local, and federal level once census data is released.