Denver area voters surprised by size of 2016 State Ballot Information Booklet

Denver bilingual Blue Book 172 pages long
Posted at 10:21 PM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 00:21:26-04

DENVER -- Colorado voters are expressing surprise at the size of the 2016 State Ballot information Booklet, also known as the Blue Book.

The bilingual book being mailed to Denver residents is 172 pages long. 

According to Legislative Council staff, that’s a new record, not in terms of issues covered, but in terms of information.

There are six amendments, three propositions and recommendations on retention of judges on the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Court, District Juvenile Court and County Court.

“It’s way too big,” said Letisha Marcum. “I don’t even want to read it.  It looks nauseating.”

While the Blue Book may look overwhelming, State Rep. Lois Court, D-Denver, said it’s essential.

“I get citizens saying this is too much.  This is too complicated,” she said.  “On the other hand, the issues are complicated and understanding them is crucial.”

For example, the summary and analysis of Amendment 69, having to do with a statewide healthcare system, is 13 pages long.

The analysis includes an explanation of the proposal, including tables for tax rates, and arguments for and against.

“I do have it saved on my countertop,” said Colin Haggerty.  “I hope to get through it at some point before the election, but the reality is I don’t know if that is actually going to happen.”

“I don’t have time to sit and look at everything,” said Kristine Schaal. “I would rather see something that’s not even half that size.”

Schaal’s husband, Bill, told Denver7 that his voter booklet will likely go straight to the recycling bin.

“I get information from other outlets,” he said, “I’ve used those outlets to form an opinion, and I’ve never ever opened a booklet.”

Rep. Court said the booklets are important.

“The purpose is to educate,” she said. “I credit the Legislative Council staff for working with all parties to come up with arguments they felt were important for each question.”

Court said it’s important to read the booklet, even if you don’t do it all at once.

“I want people to realize how important it is to vote with knowledge,” she said, “to not just listen to soundbites and knee jerks but to really understand these issues.  They are complex, and they are extremely crucial to the future of our state.”


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