Results are continuing to trickle in after polls closed around Colorado at 7 p.m. on Election Day Tuesday.
While it's an off-year election year, it's still important to ensure your voice is heard. Political science professors say the votes of people who participate in these elections have more weight and more of a chance to make a difference since fewer people are casting ballots.
MORE | Election Results
While the ballot may seem more complicated this time around, we broke down each of the three statewide measures to provide clarity on the issues:
- Proposition 120: Property Tax Assessment Rate Reduction
- Amendment 78: Legislative Authority for Spending State Money
- Proposition 119: Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress
You can also watch our Election 2021 livestream anytime today on the Denver+ app and our homepage to learn about these issues, and everything else you need to know about today.
Ballots needed to be returned by 7 p.m. Tuesday or you need to already be in line for your vote to count. You can track your ballot to make sure it has been counted through BallotTrax.
Here are your live updates on Election Day in Colorado:
8:45 p.m. | Brighton to hold runoff election for mayor
After no mayoral candidate received a majority of the votes cast, Brighton City Council has approved a resolution to certify the ballot content for a special mail runoff election.
Council approved the resolution Thursday for the election to be held Dec. 7.
Because no candidate received a majority vote, a runoff election is required for the two candidates with the highest number of votes. Those candidates are Gregory Mills and Laurie Lozano Maier.
Brighton’s City Clerk will mail ballots to active registered voters Nov. 22.
The designated voting locations will be at Brighton City Hall and the Eagle View Adult Center.
For more information, contact the City Clerk’s office at 303-655-2056.
8:38 p.m. | Latest unofficial results from Denver
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Denver Elections reported 467,261 ballots had been cast in Tuesday's off-year election.
So far, 211,664 votes were Democrats, 49,010 were Republicans and 198,322 were unaffiliated.
There are still 44,690 ballots left to be counted, which means there are 89,380 pieces of paper left to process.
The next updated on unofficial results in the Denver election will come at 5 p.m. on Friday.
View the latest unofficial results here.
Results from the Nov. 2 election will remain unofficial until completion of the post-election canvass on Nov. 19.
The people have spoken on ballot measure 2E, overwhelmingly voting no on a $190,000,000 bond for repairs, improvements and additions to the National Western Campus Facilities.
The "no" vote comes as phase one of the National Western Center continues, which includes construction of the Colorado State University buildings.
Alfonso Espino lives in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, which is already seeing a lot of construction but not the kind Espino wants for his community. He was one of 53,653 voters who voted against ballot question 2E.
"They were going to take on this debt to go build a stadium when we have the biggest housing insecurity in decades in Denver, when we have a homeless population problem but we can’t put them anywhere," Espino said.
The four other bonds on the ballot did pass. The money will go towards things like the homeless crisis and building libraries in other parts of town.
"I was very pleased with the outcome," Mayor Michael Hancock said in an interview on Denver7’s Thursday morning newscast talking about the bonds that passed.
He also addressed the one that didn't pass.
"We’ve already sat down and begun the process to think about what the next steps look like for developing the arena. I believe we will get it done. We have to get it done. We have a commitment to this arena that we will get the arena built, get the 1909 building restored and activated, and we’re committed to that. We will figure it out," Hancock said.
7:38 p.m. | Latest Arapahoe County election results
In Arapahoe County, 134,935 voters cast a ballot, which 32.19% of active voters in the county, as of a 4 p.m. update from the county.
The latest update on unofficial election results from Arapahoe County can be found here.
The county will provide another update on unofficial election results at 4 p.m. Thursday.
7:29 p.m. | Latest on Denver election results
Denver Elections continues to count the remaining ballots after tens of thousands of ballots were returned just hours before the polls closed.
As of 5:54 p.m., there are still 69,000 ballots that need to be counted, which means 138,000 pieces of paper need to be processed and scanned. Denver Elections said 35,000 of those ballots were dropped off from 4 - 7 p.m. on Election Day. More last day ballots lead to a longer count, Denver Elections said.
Another update on the Denver election will be provided at 5 p.m. Nov. 4. Denver Elections anticipates providing final unofficial results sometime on Friday.
The latest unofficial Denver election results as of 5 p.m. show 93,848 of the 467,154 registered voters cast a ballot. Further unofficial results can be found here.
Both Republicans and Democrats are claiming victory in the 2021 Colorado election and gearing up for the midterms next year.
Republicans are touting success in Aurora and Douglas County, while Democrats point to the failure of the statewide ballot measures and some local contests as their accomplishments.
“The big takeaway, I think, is that it was really kind of a mixed bag. Both sides had something to write home about and to feel proud of accomplishing,” said Ryan Winger, the director of data analysis for Magellan Strategies.
Following a tumultuous 20 months in Douglas County surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and decisions on how to handle protocols in schools, voters chose to elect some candidates who say they plan to bring changes.
Mike Peterson was one of four people running for Douglas County School Board who called themselves the "Kids First" candidates.
"I feel like it was a good night for the parents at Douglas County last night," Peterson said.
He says on topics like the mask mandate, choice is crucial.
"The mask thing's been going on so long, and it's been so divisive. We don't know what it's going to look like when we get seated. There's an ongoing lawsuit, so we'll have to see where that is, but our intention is to bring back choice for parents relative to their students and choice to teachers to make their own decisions, and that goes for masking and for vaccinations," Peterson said.
1:28 p.m. | Update on ballots returned
Around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Colorado Secretary of State's office said that by 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, 1,444,071 ballots had been returned.
12:16 p.m. | Statement from Colorado Democratic Party
Morgan Carroll, Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, released a statement around noon on Wednesday reacting to Tuesday's elections around the state.
The statement reads: “While there are still many Colorado ballots that need to be counted for a number of races that are currently too close to call, we are proud of the great wins we saw in Jefferson and Larimer County School Boards, and municipal races in Delta County, Cañon City, Englewood, Broomfield, Pueblo, and Montrose County, among others. Additionally, we are very pleased that voters soundly rejected the Republican-backed measures of Amendment 78 and Proposition 120, and the backdoor voucher program of Proposition 119. We are also pleased to see that many bond measures for public school funding are passing in counties across the state, from Mesa to Morgan County. That being said, last night’s election showed what we've always believed, that we can take no vote or election for granted. Here in Colorado, it’s more obvious than ever that the Republican dark money machine is alive and well. Just like we have successfully done over the past few election cycles, Colorado Democrats will campaign on our better candidates, our better policies, and our record of delivering for working people all across our state.”
10:22 a.m. | Statement from Colorado Republican Party
Colorado Republicans won in multiple key areas across Colorado Tuesday.
In a statement, Colorado Republican Party Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown said:
"Last night was the first big step in Colorado's fight to elect responsible leaders who actually care about our state. I'm proud of our candidates and the inspired, energetic campaigns they waged all across our state. We won, in many areas that have recently been Democrat strongholds, because voters are sick and tired of the failed, costly, and listless decisions made by President Biden, Governor Polis, and Senator Bennet. Education, public safety, and our alarmingly high cost of living are all issues that Coloradans are dealing with and these are all issues that have gotten worse for our state under one-party, Democrat control. I look forward to more wins in 2022 as we continue to retake the suburbs and elect new leadership that will actually deliver for Coloradans."
7 a.m. | Update on election results statewide and in Denver as of 6:50 a.m.
Here is the latest on those results. We'll continue bringing the latest details throughout Wednesday.
5 a.m. | All three statewide measures failing
Prop 119, Prop 120 and Amendment 78 are all failing after being presented to the voters on Tuesday.
While votes are still being counted, the results are statistically unlikely to change. We will update this blog with exact totals once they're available.
5 a.m. | Denver voters rejecting Ordinance 303
Denver voters are rejecting this ordinance, which would build on the city's camping ban. So far, 55% of voters have answered no.
“Even with the most onerous part of this measure struck down as unconstitutional by the District Court earlier this week, this measure, pass or fail, was not a solution to homelessness nor encampments," Denver Mayor Hancock said. "I share our residents’ frustrations with unauthorized camping, and you have my word that we will continue to work tirelessly to transition our unsheltered neighbors from the streets to more stable settings.”
5 a.m. | Voters lean toward rejecting Ordinance 302
As of now, totals are leaning toward a rejection of Ordinance 302, with 62% of voters saying no.
This is essentially the same as Ordinance 301, but would exclude the golf course from the vote requirement.
5 a.m. | Park Hill Golf Course will remain a green space for now
So far, 63% of Denver voters supported Ordinance 301, which bans any new commercial construction on a property covered by a city-owned conservation easement without Denver voters approving it first.
Penfield Tate, who helped draft the ordinance, said voters are sending a message that developers don't run Denver.
"Open space, green space, is a swindling commodity in our city. In the last decades, we've seen all this hyper-development and rush to develop and build and smother open space with concrete, that is largely unaffordable development, that is displacing people throughout the city, and driving people out of the city," he said.
Samie Burnett, northeast Park Hill resident and yes on 302 ballot proponent, expressed disappointment.
"It is disheartening that voters supported taking away the voice of our community and letting the whole city, which has very different priorities, make decisions related to this property," Burnett said. "...We look forward to creating a plan with the City and the property owner that Denver voters will endorse and get behind. We believe we can create a win-win plan that will incorporate innovative, sustainable and equitable development and that will create opportunity for the next generation.”
5 a.m. | Denver Questions 2A-D pass
Denver voters approved these four questions. It was broken down as:
- Question 2A: $104M in bonds to repair facilities like Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Denver Zoo
- Question 2B: $38.6 million in bonds to repair shelters & homeless housing
- Question 2C: $63.3 million in bonds for transportation & mobility
- Question 2D: $54 million in bonds to repair Denver Parks & Recreation
“While the voters didn’t approve the full package, the infrastructure investments that passed tonight will still propel our economic recovery forward and fuel it for the long term," said Denver Mayor Hancock about these questions. "The thousands of new, good-paying jobs, new opportunities for local businesses and hundreds of millions in economic impact these community projects will create is a generational investment in our city. From improving mobility, resolving homelessness, and strengthening our cultural institutions, libraries and parks-and-rec facilities, these projects will help us build back better and create an economy that works for everyone.”
5 a.m. | Denver voters likely to approve Questions 2A-D
“While the voters didn’t approve the full package, the infrastructure investments that passed tonight will still propel our economic recovery forward and fuel it for the long term," said Denver Mayor Hancock. "The thousands of new, good-paying jobs, new opportunities for local businesses and hundreds of millions in economic impact these community projects will create is a generational investment in our city. From improving mobility, resolving homelessness, and strengthening our cultural institutions, libraries and parks-and-rec facilities, these projects will help us build back better and create an economy that works for everyone.”
5 a.m. | National Western Complex question fails
Denver voters rejected a $190 million bond measure to build a new arena at the National Western Complex and convert another structure into a public market.
Fifty-eight percent of voters answered "no" to question 2E.
In a statement, the campaign manager for No on the Arena Bond released the following statement: “The voters made their needs loud and clear – invest in real recovery for the city before building a new event center,” Sarah Lake said. “The City’s development agendas won’t be widely supported until they ensure significant benefits for Denver residents, and to the local community.”
5 a.m. | Update on Prop 120 and Amendment 78 numbers
Numbers from last Tuesday showed that with 32.01% reporting, 56.89% of voters voted no on Prop 120.
For Amendment 78, with the same number of ballots in, 56.50% of voters voted no. The measure needs at least 55% approval to pass because it'd be an addition to the state constitution.
11:42 p.m. | Douglas County School Board could see big changes
If early election results are an indication of what's to come, big changes could be happening for the Douglas County School Board.
11:37 p.m. | Latest on Aurora City Council race
It's still too early to call, but results continue to come in to determine who will sit on Aurora's city council.
11:29 p.m. | Not looking good for any of the statewide ballot issues
While Proposition 120 and Amendment 78 haven't been called, voters appear to be leaning towards voting down all three statewide initiatives based on early results.
10:11 p.m. | Proponents for ranked choice voting in Broomfield claim victory
The group backing Broomfield Ballot Question 2A to move to ranked choice voting has claimed victory.
As of 9 p.m., 51.7% voted yes and 48.2% voted no.
Ranked choice voting will be used for mayor and city council beginning in 2023.
“Broomfield voters chose to replace a tired, broken election process with a system that empowers voters, encourages more issue-driven positive campaigns, and creates better government,” said Emma Donahue, political director for RCV Colorado. By choosing to implement rank choice voting for all municipal elections in the city and county of Broomfield, voters are changing politics as usual."
9:58 p.m. | Cosponsors celebrate passage of Denver Question 2G
Denver City Council Pro Tem Jamie Torres, one of the sponsors of Denver Ballot Question 2G, said she was "thrilled" voters passed the measure to strengthen the Office of the Independent Monitor.
As of 9:49 p.m., 67% voted yes and 33% voted no on Question 2G with 14% reporting.
Question 2G made three changes to the structure of the OIM, including giving appointment authority to the Citizen Oversight Board with city council confirmation, give the independent monitor the ability to consult an independent lawyer and give employees of the OIM career service status.
The Office of the Independent Monitor is the civilian oversight agency for the City and County of Denver police and sheriff departments.
“I am reassured, as I am sure voters are, with the enhanced level of independence the Office of the Independent Monitor will now have, and I believe this is a meaningful move in improving accountability and fostering trust with all of Denver’s residents," Torres said in a statement.
Council President Stacie Gilmore, a cosponsor of Question 2G, said it was an important step to ensure the office "true autonomy to hold our safety departments accountable and provide more transparency and oversight.
8:58 p.m. | Backers of Propsition 119 concede
A group of people backing Proposition 119 has conceded. In a tweet, the group said the ballot measure was voted down.
Though our support across the state was broad, Prop 119 was voted down. We vow not to give up on Colorado kids in our efforts to close the opportunity gap, especially after pandemic-fueled learning loss.— Vote Yes on Prop 119 (@Prop119Yes) November 3, 2021
As of 8:49 p.m., 23% of precincts are reporting with 54% voting no and 46% voting yes.
In a press release from Yes on Prop 119, backers vowed that they would not give up on pursuing policy solutions that would help Colorado school children.
“The significant gap in achievement between students from wealthy families and their low-income peers has been an unfortunate educational outcome in Colorado for years — and tonight’s results mean it will likely continue to get worse before it gets better,” said Curtis Hubbard, spokesperson Yes on Prop 119 spokesperson. “Access to affordable, quality after-school education services is not a possibility for many families living in Colorado — and we will work with anyone who has a better idea on how to tackle the problem.”
8:24 p.m. | Amendment 78
Amendment 78 will require a supermajority to pass, which is 55% of the vote, and it would change the state's constitution on how custodial funds are allocated.
7:54 p.m. | Early election results
It's still too early to call, but early election results are starting to come in. Election results can be viewed here.
7:34 p.m. | Polls closed
The polls closed at 7 p.m. and results are starting to come in. It's still too early to make a determination. Election results can be viewed here.
6:56 p.m. | Election Day update
As of 5 p.m. on Election Day, Griswold reported 1,208,926 Colorado voters have cast a ballot.
Of those ballots cast, 373,412 are Democrats, 396,854 are Republicans, and 426,841 are unaffiliated. The large majority of those ballots, 1,193,368, were mailed in, and 15,558 voters have cast their ballot in person.
6:37 p.m. | Voter turnout may be higher than usual
While off-year elections tend to have a lower voter turnout, experts say Colorado may see more people casting ballots this year, possibly because of what's on the ballot. Denver7 reporter Gary Brode has details in the video below.
2:41 p.m. | Colorado Secretary of State provides Election Day update
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Denver election officials held an Election Day briefing Tuesday to discuss the latest numbers and remind voters they have until 7 p.m. to drop off their ballots.
As of noon on Election Day, Griswold reported 961,877 Colorado voters have already cast a ballot. Of those ballots cast, 303,010 are Democrats, 314,414 are Republicans, and 335,370 are unaffiliated. The large majority of those ballots, 953,566, were mailed in, and 8,311 voters have cast their ballot in person.
Griswold expects turn out to be on par with off-year elections, when about 40% of the eligible voters participate.
9:04 a.m. | Ballot return update from Monday evening
As of 11:30 p.m. Monday, 953,196 ballots have been returned, according to the Secretary of State's office. A second update on returns will be released at 1 p.m.
Of those 953K ballots, 32.74% were registered Republican and 31.4% were registered Democrats. The remaining 34.86% were unaffiliated voters and 0.63% were libertarian voters.
The counties with the most returned ballots are, in order: Jefferson County, El Paso County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Denver County, Larimer County, Boulder County, Adams County and Weld County. Click here for more details on this breakdown.