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2020 Election

The Aspen Public Radio Newsroom has chosen to focus on four specific issues for our election coverage: the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice/representation, climate change and land use/management.

These issues were among the most important to voters, according to a Pew Research poll in August 2020. We also chose them because they are important to people who live in the Roaring Fork Valley. That’s especially true as many have seen the economy, and their livelihoods, take a hit because of the pandemic, the growing Latino population in the region hasn’t had someone from their community holding a countywide governmental office, wildfires have been ferocious this season in the state, and the oil and gas industry employs many people.

Our central question while reporting this series was “What Can I Expect From My Government?” We set out to find a diverse group of people who could tell us their answers to that question.

Our election series is scheduled for Oct. 20-23. You'll be able to hear the stories during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. All our content will also be available here. 

Many of the other stories you’ll find here are from our reporting partners. We wanted to provide information about Colorado's key ballot initiatives and races, and also share details about how you can take part in this historic election year.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Colorado’s election results will be official within a week at the most without the controversies surrounding lawsuits and certification seen in other states.

All but one of the state’s 63 counties certified their election results last week. Gunnison County experienced a delay after elections officials contracted COVID-19 and expects to certify results this week.

President Trump's refusal to concede and the delayed transition to the administration of President-elect Joe Biden have raised many questions about the transfer of power in our system.

One in particular has long been asked: Why do we wait until the latter part of January to swear in a president we elect in November? Put another way: How is it that the Brits can have a newly elected prime minister meeting with the queen to form a new government within a day or two, but we need 10 or 11 weeks to install a new crew?

A voting machine company based in the Mountain West has become the center of an unfounded conspiracy theory propagated by the president intended to shed doubt on the presidential election.


Colorado voters have decided to bring back a wild animal that was eradicated from the state in the 1940s because of the threats it posed to livestock and ranchers’ livelihoods.

But don’t expect to hear a gray wolf howl on Colorado’s West Slope just yet.

Following the narrow passage of Proposition 114, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will now spend the next three years coming up with a plan for how to reintroduce the animals by 2023.

The planning process will include public hearings to help determine how many wolves will be released in Colorado, and where.

Colorado voters have narrowly endorsed a movement to change the way the United States picks its presidents.

With the passage of Proposition 113, Colorado will stay in the so-called National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

The initiative consists of a group of states wanting to award all their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide.

Lauri Jackson / Aspen Public Radio

Updated at 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 5

State Sen. Bob Rankin has won his reelection bid after a close content between him and Democratic challenge Karl Hanlon. Hanlon called Rankin to concede Thursday morning. There were about 1,000 votes separating the two men, according to the latest, unofficial returns. 

Updated at 7:47 a.m. on 11/4/2020

A Republican political newcomer who defied public health orders during the coronavirus pandemic and fully embraced President Trump will represent Colorado’s largest congressional district.

Boebert declared victory late Tuesday night, and Mitsch Bush conceded the race. The Associated Press called the race for Boebert Wednesday morning. The Republican was winning 51 percent of the vote with 90 percent of the ballots counted.

Updated at 9:15 a.m. on 11/4/2020

Colorado voters rejected a measure that would have prevented women from getting an abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy unless the procedure was needed to save the woman's life.

Proposition 115 failed 59% to 41% with 85% of votes tallied as of Wednesday morning.

As a result, Colorado will remain one of seven states in the country without restrictions on abortions.

Boosted by the state’s deep disapproval of President Donald Trump, former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper defeated incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner and flipped a U.S. Senate seat in Colorado.

Hickenlooper, a two-term governor who led the state through floods, wildfires and the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, ran a campaign largely focused on criticizing Gardner for supporting Trump and attempting to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

NPR

View live results for Colorado's 2020 presidential, Senate and House races, as well as statewide ballot measures. Results will start coming in after polls close on Election Night, Nov. 3.

Results from Pitkin County are available here

Results from Garfield County are available here.

There have been a lot of questions heading into Election Day 2020 about how much information will and will not be available on election night, as everyone waits to see who has won the presidential contest and other races.

NPR provides live coverage of the results on the radio and online, and we rely on The Associated Press for all vote counting and race calls.

That means we explicitly cite the AP when reporting results — there are no "NPR calls." We will display AP results of the presidential election and other contests on our website.

As election day approaches, some states in the Mountain West are preparing for potential voter intimidation and violence following rhetoric from President Donald Trump.

Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper spent more than three hours together in recent weeks trading attacks and making their pitches to voters. If you didn’t watch all three of their debates, here are some of the main takeaways to catch up on.

Lagging in the polls, Gardner is trying to make the race about character.

Bureau of Land Management

You can find an English language version of this story here.

 

Más de un tercio de Colorado está formado por tierras públicas y controlado por agencias como la Oficina de Gestión de Tierras (BLM). Las decisiones sobre cómo usar esas tierras pueden ser polémicas, ya que los conservacionistas y la industria privada compiten por los usos preferidos en esos millones de acres.

Bureau of Land Management

 

More than a third of Colorado is made up of public land and controlled by agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management. Decisions about how to use that land can be contentious, as conservationists and private industry vie for their preferred use on those millions of acres.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

You can find an English language version of this story here.

Es imposible pasar por alto las señales del cambio climático, ya que el estado ha experimentado cientos de miles de acres de incendios forestales esta temporada, junto con la sequía por doquier en Colorado. ¿Pero cómo se manifiestan los problemas del cambio climático en la votación? Para responder a esta pregunta, Aspen Public Radio habló con Max Boykoff, profesor de la Universidad de Colorado en Boulder que estudia la política cultural y el gobierno ambiental. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

It’s impossible to miss the signs of climate change as the state has experienced hundreds of thousands of acres of wildfire this season, along with drought in every part of Colorado. But how do issues of climate change manifest on the ballot? For the answer to that question, Aspen Public Radio spoke with Max Boykoff, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder who studies cultural politics and environmental governance. 

Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

You can find an English-language version of this story here.

 

A menos de dos semanas del día de la elección, muchos en Colorado están enfocándose en un grupo creciente de votantes latinos que podrían ser una gran parte de la decisión del resultado. Según el Centro de Investigación Pew, los votantes latinos son el mayor grupo demográfico de votantes no blancos este año, constituyendo el 16% de los votantes de Colorado en 2018. Y sin embargo, los latinos han estado históricamente subrepresentados en los cargos políticos en los valles del Roaring Fork y del Río Colorado.

Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

 

With election day less than two weeks away, many in Colorado are looking to a growing group of Latino voters who could be a big part of deciding the outcome. According to the Pew Research Center, Latino voters are the largest non-white voting demographic this year, making up 16% of Colorado voters in 2018. And yet, Latinos have been historically underrepresented in political office in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys.

Courtesy Lindsay Jones

Before the pandemic, freelancers accounted for about a quarter of the workforce, and that number has only grown since COVID-19 hit. Millions more have joined the gig economy this year as employers have shed part and full-time positions—over a third of American workers now say they’re part of the gig economy. Some economists say that within 10 years, half the American workforce will be freelance workers.

So, what do freelancers in the Roaring Fork Valley think about this year’s election?

Courtesy Lindsay Jones

You can find an English language version of this story here.

Antes de la pandemia, los trabajadores independientes representaban alrededor de un cuarto de la fuerza de trabajo, y ese número sólo ha crecido desde el golpe de COVID-19. Millones de personas más se han unido a la economía del contratismo (gig economy) este año, ya que los empleadores han eliminado puestos de trabajo de tiempo parcial y de tiempo completo - más de un tercio de los trabajadores estadounidenses ahora dicen que son parte de esta economía. Algunos economistas dicen que dentro de 10 años, la mitad de la fuerza laboral en los Estados Unidos serán trabajadores independientes.

Entonces, ¿qué piensan los freelancers del Valle de Roaring Fork sobre las elecciones de este año? La diseñadora gráfica e ilustradora local Lindsay Jones habló con Aspen Public Radio sobre sus pensamientos antes de emitir su voto en noviembre durante la  primera parte de nuestra serie electoral: "¿Qué puedo esperar de mi gobierno?"

Voters in Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District have the choice of two very different candidates to represent them in Congress. The race is a clash between a young, political newcomer aligned with President Trump and a veteran state lawmaker who believes in pragmatism over polarization.

At 70, former state lawmaker Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, is more than twice as old as Lauren Boebert, 33.

"American Money" by 401(K) 2013 / Licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush outraised her Republican rival for the 3rd Congressional race, new finance reports show, another sign Democrats are looking for an upset.

 

Mitsch Bush, a former state lawmaker, raised $2.6 million from July 1 through the end of September, according to figures filed with the Federal Elections Commission. Republican Lauren Boebert raised $1.9 million, her campaign said.

In their final U.S. Senate debate, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner and former Gov. John Hickenlooper clashed again over ethics, health care and the nation’s response to the coronavirus. But the candidates did not cover too much new ground in Fort Collins.

In one of their more heated exchanges, Gardner and Hickenlooper presented voters with very different views on environmental policy. Hickenlooper said he supports the country’s push to replace coal jobs with new ones promoting renewable energy.

Scott Franz / Capitol Coverage

Giuliana Day says the 22nd week of a woman’s pregnancy is an important milestone.

“That is over five months into the pregnancy when a baby is fully formed and is a fully alive human being, and we treat them like a human being,” Day said.

It’s also when Day says a fetus can survive outside the womb. Its why she says she is leading an effort to stop abortions after this phase unless the mother’s life is at risk because of her pregnancy. Day’s effort to get Proposition 115 on the ballot was boosted by several Catholic churches, which helped circulate petitions.

Voters will receive the 2020 Blue Book in the mail, along with their ballots for the Nov. 3 election.
Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

U.S. Senate
Republican: Cory Gardner (incumbent)
Democrat: John Hickenlooper

U.S. House
Republican: Lauren Boebert
Democrat: Diane Mitsch Bush

State Senate District 8
Republican: Bob Rankin (incumbent)
Democrat: Karl Hanlon

Voces Unidas de las Montañas

You can find an English-language version of this story here.

Todos los votantes registrados en Colorado recibirán por correo el “libro azul” oficial.  La guía bipartidista se usa para ayudarle a los votantes a descifrar los problemas complejos y a veces confusos de la papeleta.  Pero si su primer idioma es el español puede ser que no corra con suerte.

Voces Unidas de las Montañas

Pueden encontrar la versión en español aqui

 

All registered voters in Colorado will receive an official “blue book” in the mail. The bipartisan guide is used to help voters decipher complex and sometimes confusing ballot issues. But if your first language is Spanish, you may be out of luck. 

Colorado voters got their first chance to see their U.S. Senate candidates face off in a debate Friday night, and the attacks started flying seconds after it started.

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner entered the debate in Pueblo as an underdog trailing in every poll. He repeatedly attacked his Democratic opponent, former Gov. John Hickenlooper, for being fined by a state board for accepting free flights and other gifts in violation of Colorado’s ethics codes.

“You violated the (state) constitution, John,” Gardner said.

Of the 11 ballot questions Colorado voters will decide in November, Amendment B is by far the most complicated. It seeks to repeal a 38-year-old state law affecting how much residents must pay in property taxes.

If you own a home or commercial property, your bank account has been affected by the Gallagher Amendment in some way. Voters approved the amendment in 1982 to put more of the property tax burden on businesses, which must pay 55% of the state’s property taxes. Meanwhile, homeowners pay 45%.

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