Your Future, Your Ballot


Hannah Cohen

Local issues are known to spur tension in a community that votes fairly homogeneously in national elections.

Even if you can’t vote, knowing what issues your community is deciding not only is important for its effect on your future but also for being a well-informed resident of Colorado. Here is a selection of various issues (not candidates) from State and Local (comprising county, school district, town, and other location-determined measures) issues on the ballot this year. Election day is November 8th.

Issues – State ballot


Extend Homestead Exemption to Gold Star Spouses (Amendment E)

A yes vote reduces property taxes for spouses of veterans who died from a service-related injury or disease, a no vote does not reduce the tax.

Editor’s pick: no. While the United States’ veteran services are appalling, this is not where the problem is. Schools (which rely on property taxes for funding) should not subsidize veterans.

Opposing question: There are no other questions surrounding help for veterans and their families on the ballot. Why are no new services better than this?


Changes to Charitable Gaming Operations (Amendment F)

A yes vote lets non-profits put on raffles or bingo games to raise money for their organization after operating for only three years and allows for those who run the games to be paid. A no vote states that the organization must operate for at least five years and that workers must volunteer.

Editor’s pick: yes. Workers should be compensated for their labor.

Opposing question: Should we encourage gambling?


Healthy School Meals for All (Proposition FF)

A yes vote amends the Colorado Statutes to increase taxes on households with incomes of over $300,000 per year to fund free school lunches for all public school students. A no vote means that students who currently qualify for free or reduced lunches will continue to have access to that service while not raising taxes.

Editor’s pick: yes. Studies have found that hunger reduces success in all aspects of school, and qualifying for the existing program is bureaucratic and prone to error. Last year, when this program was temporarily actualized nationally by President Biden, the United States saw results.

Opposing question: Why should the state fund meals for students who can afford them when that money could be used to support other underfunded parts of the education system?


Access to Natural Psychedelic Substances (Proposition 122)

A yes vote legalizes psychedelic mushrooms for those over 21 (which the city of Denver did last year) for medical purposes (and if an individual forages or grows them) while a no vote keeps them illegal.

Editor’s pick: yes. Aside from legitimate medical reasons why psychedelics can benefit patients, the criminalization (not necessarily legalization) of drugs is an issue deeply intertwined with equity.

Opposing question: Is this “middle step” between the drug being illegal and fully legal for adults worth it when full legalization is easier to regulate and generate tax revenue from?

Issues – Local ballot

Library District Formation – Issue 6C

A yes vote creates a district in the City of Boulder and some additional parts of the county that manages funding (via a 4% rise in property taxes) and programs for libraries, overseen by an unelected board. A no vote keeps the libraries under control of the city.

Editor’s pick: yes. This is a nuanced and contentious issue, but the goal of the Boulder Library Champions is to increase access to books across our community. 

Opposing question: In this era of book banning, is it wise to create an unelected (and therefore, potentially unaccountable) board to supervise our libraries?

Change Regular Municipal Election to Even Years – City of Boulder Ballot Question 2E

A yes vote switches local elections to even years (ie when Presidential elections and Midterms) while a no vote keeps elections on the same schedule as they are now.

Editor’s pick: yes. This issue makes elections more democratic by making elections for city council members the same year as other big elections, meaning that voter turnout would be higher.

Opposing question: It’s unclear if other elections (ballot issues and things like school board elections) would move with city council elections. Does that isolate these important issues even more?


Repeal of Ordinance 8483, Regarding the Annexation of CU South – City of Boulder Ballot Question 2F

A yes vote means the CU South annexation would stop. A no vote means that the City and the school would continue the plan to essentially trade land, enabling the school to build more.

Editor’s pick: no. The long-debated CU South deal lets the school build more affordable housing out of the flood plain (where their current land is). Both sides claim that their vote is better for flood mitigation, but those against the measure have an actual plan.

Opposing question: Does the plan actually allow for affordable housing, or is it just endless expansion from CU?

A National Scope

Midterm elections typically get press not for ballot issues (despite it being a form of direct democracy) but for candidates and control of Congress. This election cycle, the DNC has tried pushing Trump loyalists in opposition to their front runners, in an attempt to push moderate voters to the left. Some key races to watch are Ron DeSantis’ bid for reelection in Florida, the Pennsylvania Senate race between Dr. Oz and John Fetterman, and our very own Michael Bennet and Joe O’Dea.