Colorado ballot issues roundup: Voters split on magic mushrooms, affordable housing and wine in grocery stores

Steamboat Springs resident Emma Newberger drops off her June primary election ballot at the 24-hour drop box in the alley behind the historic Routt County Courthouse on Monday, June 27, 2022.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Amendment D: 23rd Judicial District Judges

As of Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2:30 p.m., 67.4% of Colorado votes were in favor of the amendment, which needed 55% to pass, according to unofficial results from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

Routt County voted in favor of the amendment with 73.7% of the votes.

By way of a one-time exception to the constitutional process, the amendment lets seven judges working in the 18th Judicial District keep their jobs when the district is split in 2025.

Amendment E: Property tax extension for qualifying seniors and disabled vets

Results as of Wednesday afternoon saw 87.9% of Colorado voters in favor of the measure, which would extend an existing property tax exemption to the spouses of service members who died in the line of duty or from a service-related injury or illness.

Routt County voters showed even more support with 89.1% voting in favor of the amendment that needs 55% of the votes to pass.

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Amendment F: Charitable gaming

Colorado voters were not in favor of Amendment F, which proposed opening up bingo and raffle games for charitable purposes to newer nonprofits. Previously, a nonprofit must operate for five years before applying for a bingo-raffle license, but the measure, if passed, that time frame would be reduced to three years with the added ability to pay an employee working the game up to minimum wage.

However, 60.8% of Colorado voters were not in favor, a trend that was echoed in Routt County, where 60.3% voted against the amendment.

Proposition FF: Healthy school meals

Just over 55% of Colorado voters supported the proposition that would provide the state’s students with free school meals regardless of families’ incomes.

The initiative will be funded by boosting taxes for households with incomes higher than $300,000.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 55.5% of Colorado voters were in favor of the proposition. Routt County was slightly more in favor, with 61.5% voting yes.

Proposition GG: Tax information table

More than 70% of Colorado voters were in favor of proposition GG, which would require putting a full fiscal summary on the ballot for any initiative that increases or decreases tax rates, as of Wednesday afternoon.

Nearly 72% of Routt County voters were in favor.

Proposition 121: State income tax reduction

A measure to cut Colorado’s state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.4% for individuals and corporations will pass with 65% supporting across the state, as of Wednesday afternoon.

Votes counted through Wednesday afternoon were 65.5% in favor of the proposition. Routt County voters were also in favor, with 63.1% saying yes.

Proposition 122: Access to natural psychedelic substances

This proposition is still too close to call. As of Wednesday afternoon, 51.1%, or 945,683 votes were in favor, while 48.9%, or 905,853 are opposed.

Routt County was more in favor, with 63.1% saying yes.

If passed, Proposition 122 would decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms and other plant based psychedelic substances, allowing those over 21 to grow, possess, share and use them.  It would also establish a regulatory system to offer supervised use of these substances starting in 2024, with the ability to expand what psychedelic substances could be used in 2026.

Proposition 123: Revenue for affordable housing programs

Propsition 123 is also too close to call, with 938,895 votes in favor, and 913,035 against.

Routt County voted in favor of the initiative, with 56.4% supporting the proposition.

The proposition would set aside up to 0.1% of annual state income tax revenue for affordable housing projects administered by two state agencies. In the first year, the measure would raise about $145 million, after that earning $290 million a year.

The money could be used by local governments to purchase land for future housing projects, to invest in or finance low- and middle-income housing, offer down-payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, help those experiencing homelessness and bolster local planning departments.

Proposition 124: Liquor store locations

Just over 62% of Colorado voters opposed this proposition which would increase the number of retail liquor store licenses a person may hold. In Routt County, 69.1% voted against the proposition.

Currently, liquor stores are limited to three locations and will be allowed four locations in 2027. Proposition 124 would change that limitation to what is allowed for liquor-licensed drugstores, which are generally grocery stores with a pharmacy that sell beer, wine and spirits. There would be no limit on locations after 2037.

Proposition 125: Wine in grocery stores

Of the three three alcohol-related measures, proposition 125 is the closest. As of Wednesday afternoon, 50.2%, or 945,408 votes, were against the measure, while 49.81%, or 938,233 votes were in favor.

Routt County results were less close, with 55.8% voting against the measure.

If passed, Proposition 125 would automatically convert retail beer licenses to beer and wine licenses, offering grocery and convenience stores who currently sell beer to add wine to their shelves.

Proposition 126: Third-party delivery of alcohol sales

Following the trend of declining the other alcohol-related propositions, 52.6% of Coloradans were against the proposition that would allow for third-party delivery of alcohol.

In Routt County, exactly 52.6% were opposed as well.

Currently, establishments that sell alcohol are allowed to deliver it, but employees of that establishment who are 21 and older must deliver it. The measure would allow these locations to contract with third-party sellers to handle deliveries.

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