Referred Question 2L: Denver Ballot Modernization
Why we oppose Referred Question 2L
Amusingly, this measure, which would impose a single-subject rule on ballot initiatives fails to live up to that rule itself, also dealing with deadlines for candidate qualification. In 2021, Denver moved up odd-year municipal elections from the first Tuesday in May to the first Tuesday in April; this measure would move back the deadline for candidates to qualify from 55 to 75 days. In two years, the deadline for candidate qualification would have gone from mid-March to mid-January in years following statewide and federal elections. The difficulty of competing with those elections for people’s attention benefits the politically-connected and makes it harder for outsiders to qualify.
In addition, the measure would create a single-subject rule, which has created several controversial decisions at the state level, and which would put title-setting in the hands of the increasingly politicized Clerk & Recorder’s office.
While the initiative process has produced a number of terrible ideas, it also remains the best hope for citizens to rein in the government, should they choose to do so. Taken together, the elements of this “ballot modernization” measure would tend to limit the people’s ability to do so, and for that reason, we oppose this measure.