Time Machine Tuesday: On the Ballot

Election day is quickly approaching and there are a number of important races and issues on this year's ballot.  (For nonpartisan analysis of the amendments and referenda on this year's ballot, see the Colorado Legislative Council's 2016 Blue Book.)  The issues on a given years' ballot offer insight on the values and priorities of Colorado citizens at a given time in our state's history.  Here's a look at initiatives and referenda in the past century, compiled using ballot analysis reports and official voter results:

10 Years Ago:

In 2006, issues being decided included domestic partnerships and the definition of marriage; marijuana possession; and whether to participate in an immigration lawsuit against the federal government.  Fiscal measures included school district spending requirements, property tax reduction for disabled veterans, and state business income tax deduction limits.  Similar to today, the 2006 ballot included measures on the minimum wage and the ease of amending the State Constitution.  Several government-focused issues also made the ballot, including judges' term limits, "standards of conduct in government," and recall deadlines.  For the results of this election, see the 2006 Abstract of Votes Cast.

20 Years Ago:

Issues on the 1996 ballot were a bit less controversial and included several natural resources issues, including state trust lands and "prohibited methods of taking wildlife."  Perennial issues such as petitions, term limits, property tax exemptions, and campaign finance were again on the ballot.  Two interesting items up for decision included allowing limited gaming in Trinidad, and the definition of parental rights.  For the results of this election, see the 1996 Abstract of Votes Cast.

30 Years Ago:

In 1986 voters were asked to decide on a revamp of the State Personnel Board; county elected officials' compensation; and home rule municipalities.  Also on the ballot was a measure similar to the future TABOR (passed in 1992) that would have required any new taxes or tax increases to go to the voters.  For the results of this election, see the 1986 Abstract of Votes Cast.

40 Years Ago:

There were many issues on the 1976 ballot, including exempting groceries from sales tax; returnable beverage container deposits; and repeal of the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment.  For the results of this election, see the 1976 Abstract of Votes Cast

50 Years Ago:

A half-century ago Colorado voters were asked to decide on two property taxation measures and several measures defining state government operations.  The two controversial issues on the 1966 ballot included providing for daylight savings time in Colorado, and the question of whether capital punishment should be abolished in the state.  (For a history of Capital Punishment in Colorado see this page from the Colorado State Public Defender's website.)  For the results of this election, see the 1966 Abstract of Votes Cast.

60 Years Ago:

Issues on the 1956 ballot included term limits; taxes; civil service; apportionment of the general assembly; and old age pensions.  For the results of this election, see the 1956 abstract of votes cast.

70 Years Ago:

In 1946, voters decided on secret ballots and old age pensions.  (For a look at this issue, Old Age Pensions in Colorado, a 1948 publication from the University of Colorado, is available for checkout from our library.)  For the results of this election, see the 1946 Abstract of Votes Cast.

80 Years Ago:

Occurring in the midst of the Great Depression, the 1936 election had Colorado voters decide on whether women could serve on juries; whether to exempt churches, schools, and cemeteries from property taxes; whether there should be a vehicle ownership tax; and whether the State should provide public assistance for Coloradans with tuberculosis.  Also on the ballot were several income tax measures as well as provision of funds for old age pensions.  The realities of the Great Depression are evident from these public assistance and revenue-generating ballot issues.  For the results of this election, see the 1936 Abstract of Votes Cast.

90 Years Ago:

In the Roaring '20s, as the rates of vehicle ownership were on the rise, voters in 1926 were asked to decide on several motor vehicle tax issues, including a gas tax and a tax on motor vehicle purchases.  Elected officials' salaries, and laws regulating the practice of dentistry and the Public Utilities Commission were also on the ballot, as was a measure to allow the "manufacture, importation, and sale of intoxicating liquors in Colorado."  (Colorado had gone dry in 1916, the 1926 Colorado measure failed, and Prohibition was repealed nationwide in 1933).  For the results of this election, see the 1926 Abstract of Votes Cast.

100 Years Ago:

In 1916, during the height of the Progressive Era in Colorado, voters decided on "providing humane care and treatment for all the insane;" "manufacture and sale of beer," and an "amendment to apply the merit system to...civil service."  Other ballot issues included taxation, public school funding, regulations for the practice of medicine, "running of stock at large," and holding a constitutional convention.  For the results of this election, see the 1916 Abstract of Votes Cast.

For other years' election issues and results, see our library's Blue Book Finding Aid and the Colorado Secretary of State's Election Results Archive.


Election Information

Election Day will soon be upon us.  This year, every registered voter will receive a mail-in ballot.  Most voters should have received their ballot by now, or will in the next few days.  Ballots can be dropped off at ballot collection stations at any time.  However, polling places will still be open on election day for those who prefer to vote at a polling place.  Those choosing to vote in person will need to surrender their mail-in ballot at the polling place.  All polling places must be made accessible for those with disabilities.  You can learn more about accessibility requirements, including a video tutorial for polling administrators, at the Colorado Secretary of State's Accessibility Resources webpage.

While the presidential race may be getting the most attention, there are many other races and issues on the ballot this year, which can affect the day-to-day lives of many Coloradans.  A list of all races, amendments, and propositions is available on the Colorado Secretary of State's Election Information webpage.  Here you will also find registration and identification information, primary election results, fact sheets and FAQs, information on how to become an election judge, links to political party information, an overview of the electoral college process, and information for candidates.

Along with your mail-in ballot you should have received a copy of the 2016 Blue Book, a publication of the non-partisan Colorado Legislative Council which provides detailed analysis of ballot issues.  The Blue Book can help you make your decision by offering pros and cons for each amendment and proposition, as well as suggestions for retention of judges.  There are many issues to decide this year, including a statewide healthcare system (Amendment 69), state minimum wage (Amendment 70), requirements for initiated constitutional amendments (Amendment 71), new cigarette and tobacco taxes (Amendment 72), medical aid in dying (Proposition 106), presidential primary election (Proposition 107), other primary elections (Proposition 108), and for voters in the Denver Metropolitan Area, the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (Issue 4B).  Counties and municipalities also have their own local issues on the ballot, so be sure to check with your city and/or county about local measures and races.  Statewide, there are U.S. House and Senate races, as well as races for all Colorado House of Representatives seats and most Senate seats, CU Regents, State Board of Education members, and more.  


Get Your Flu Shot

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is encouraging everyone to get their flu shot before the end of October.  Flu shots are widely available in clinics, many drugstores and grocery store pharmacies, at at your doctor's office.  To find a specific location visit https://vaccinefinder.org/.  A recent CDPHE press release gives the following information: 

Here’s what you need to know about flu shots this season:
·        The CDC recommends only injectable flu shots this year. The nasal flu vaccine (FluMist) is not recommended this year.
·        Some children 6 months through 8 years of age need two doses of flu vaccine four weeks apart. Ask your health care provider how many doses your child should get.
·        People with egg allergies no longer have to wait 30 minutes after receiving a vaccine. People who have experienced only hives after exposure to eggs can get their shot at any location offering licensed flu vaccines. People who have severe egg allergies (symptoms other than hives) also can get any licensed flu vaccine, but it should be given in a medical setting and supervised by a health care provider.
·        Some flu shots protect against four kinds of flu and some protect against three. There also is a high-dose flu vaccine for people 65 and older that can create a stronger immune response. However, it’s better to get the shot your provider has now rather than wait for a different product.
·        Recent data suggests vaccine protection may wear off late in the flu season for people age 65 and older. However, since flu cases often start to increase in October, CDC recommends all age groups get the vaccination by the end the month for optimal protection.

You can find statistical information about influenza in Colorado by visiting the CDPHE's Influenza Data page, or search our library's online catalog.


Remedial Rates

The number of college students who need remedial classes is a growing concern in Colorado.  The Colorado Department of Higher Education tracks the numbers and demographics of students in remedial classes and issues an Annual Report on Remedial Education, which our library offers online back to 2002.   This report is presented to the State Legislature each year.  Information on remedial education in Colorado can also be found in several reports, also available from our library, including The Colorado Remedial Challenge and Success of Remedial Math Students in the Colorado Community College System:  A Longitudinal StudyFor tips on how to understand remedial education statistics and why they are important, view the Colorado Department of Higher Education's 5-minute video, Understanding Remedial Rates in Colorado.