Voters elect D-11 board members, extend city tax
by Faith Miller
The Southeast Express
Last month, we partnered with students at Pikes Peak Community College to address issues around voting ahead of the Nov. 5 city, state and school district elections. The goal: Boost Southeast’s voter turnout, historically the lowest in the city.
It’s too early to tell how many Southeast-area voters headed to the ballot boxes this year. But we do have unofficial results for the election as a whole.
Colorado Springs voters decided on tax funding for roads and parks, school board seats and more. In case you missed it, here’s a breakdown of what happened:
• Colorado Springs School District 11 voters re-elected the incumbent board director, Mary Coleman. Coleman garnered 19.3 percent of votes. Filling the board’s remaining open seats are Darleen Daniels, a substitute teacher and volunteer; Parth Melpakam, former District Accountability Committee chair; and Jason Jorgenson, a middle school science teacher. Slightly more than a third of registered voters cast ballots in the District 11 race.
• In El Paso County, 61.8 percent of voters rejected Proposition CC. The statewide ballot measure — which 53.6 percent of Coloradans voted down — would have allowed the state to keep extra tax revenue in years when it exceeds a formula set out
in the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), instead of returning the money to voters. The measure would have raised around $542 million for education and transportation over the next three years, according to an estimate by legislative staff.
• Meanwhile, 57.7 percent of Colorado Springs voters said the city could keep its separate tax revenue above TABOR’s spending formula for this year, injecting about $7 million into repairs for parks, trails and sports complexes through approval of Issue 2B.
• Even though Proposition DD lost in El Paso County by a margin of nearly 7 percent, this measure legalizing sports betting edged to a narrow victory statewide. It’s projected to raise $29 million annually for state water projects.
• Finally, 65.1 percent of Colorado Springs voters supported Issue 2C, keeping a sales tax for repairs and improvements to city roads. The roads tax, first approved by voters in 2015, will be reduced from 6.2 cents to 5.7 cents on a $10 purchase.
The Colorado Springs City Clerk won’t have data on voter turnout by precinct until the results are finalized, after the Southeast Express goes to press. But turnout in the county as a whole was slightly higher than in November 2017, the last comparable election. Around 34.4 percent of registered voters participated then. This year, more than 178,000 people — 38.4 percent of registered voters — cast ballots in El Paso County, according to the county Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
By the numbers
178,494 Voters cast ballots in El Paso County in November
38.48 percent of registered voters cast ballots in El Paso County in November
Source: El Paso county Clerk and recorder’s office
Related content and special election coverage:
Step up to the ballot box
District 11 candidate questionnaires
Pulse of the presidential
An issue of access
For those facing mental health challenges, voting presents unique obstacles