The Yes on 107 and 108 campaign to reinstate a presidential primary and open all primaries to unaffiliated voters released a new ad to remind voters that inclusion isn’t just a nice idea; it’s on the ballot.
The new ad, called “Inclusion” showcases how great ideas — from the wheel, to rock ‘n’ roll, to innovations in science – come from collaboration and working together. Let Colorado Vote believes the same is true of democracy and elections, and that greater participation, by adding over one million new voices to the primary system, can make all the difference in Colorado.
Currently, over one-third of Colorado’s voters are unaffiliated. Colorado leads the nation in the growth of unaffiliated voters and with a completely closed primary system, which means Colorado disenfranchises a higher percentage of its population than almost any other state.
Colorado can do better by voting YES this fall on Proposition 107 to restore a presidential primary and YES on Proposition 108, to open taxpayer-funded primaries to unaffiliated voters.
The measures have drawn the support of Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Govs. Bill Ritter, Bill Owens, Roy Romer and Dick Lamm; and support from editorial boards at The Denver Post, The Colorado Springs Gazette, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, The Boulder Daily Camera, The Greeley Tribune, The Durango Herald and the Fort Collins Coloradoan, among others.
Ad to run on digital platforms, in TV markets across Colorado
DENVER — Today, Let Colorado Vote, the campaign dedicated to building consensus for policies to increase voter access and participation, launched its first advertisement of the election season.
“Can we play?” highlights the unfairness of Colorado’s current election systems that limit participation and choice and urges voters to make our elections better by Voting Yes on Propositions 107 & 108.
“Thanks to our committed supporters from across the state, who share our desire for elections in Colorado that are more fair and inclusive, we have raised the resources to communicate our message broadly,” said campaign chair Kent Thiry, Chairman and CEO of DaVita. “Propositions 107 and 108 are essential for strengthening our Democracy in Colorado by including the more than 1 million unaffiliated Coloradans who currently pay taxes for elections they are banned from participating in.”
Here is a link to the ad that will begin airing today online and is planned to run on broadcast networks and cable systems in Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction.<
Colorado voters will be asked this fall to re-institute a presidential primary and to allow unaffiliated voters to participate in taxpayer-financed primary elections without choosing a party.
The measures were approved for the ballot today by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office after verifying that enough voter signatures had been collected.
“Colorado voters value independence and want elections that encourage participation,” said Kent Thiry, Let Colorado Vote Campaign Chair and CEO of DaVita. “Only 5% of voters participated in the March caucuses, which is not a sign of a healthy democracy. Our initiatives will fix that and allow more than 1 million unaffiliated voters to participate in elections that they currently pay for, but thus far have been excluded from.”
The two measures would change state law (as opposed to amending the constitution):
Initiative 140, which will restore a presidential primary and allow unaffiliated voters to participate without affiliating with a party;
Initiative 98, which will allow the state’s more than 1 million unaffiliated voters to participate in taxpayer-financed primary elections without affiliating with a party.
“We believe, strongly, that allowing unaffiliated voters to participate in taxpayer funded primary elections is a matter of fairness,” said John Hereford, Let Colorado Vote Vice Chair and founder of Oak Leaf Energy Partners. “Engaging a broader cross-section of the voting spectrum in primaries will make our politicians more responsive to the center and not just the extreme wings of their respective parties.”
Colorado leads the nation in the growth of unaffiliated – or independent – voters since 2008, and they now make up 36% of all voters in the state.
But unaffiliated voters in Colorado face barriers that don’t exist in most other states. Colorado is among a minority of states that excludes unaffiliated voters from taxpayer-financed primary elections, and history shows that this system discourages participation.
Turnout for Colorado’s primary elections has been dropping since 2010, and just 1 in 5 voters participated in the state’s June primary.
The current primary does not include the presidential race, which is handled through a caucus system with preference polls rather than official ballots. Fewer than 190,000 of the state’s 3 million voters participated in the March caucuses.
Other campaign Vice Chairs are: Kelly Brough, President/CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber; Don Childears, President/CEO of the Colorado Bankers Association; Cole Finegan, partner at Hogan Lovells US; and Mike Kopp, executive director of Colorado Concern.
Let Colorado Vote is supported by a diverse array of individuals and organizations, including: Gov. John Hickenlooper; former Govs. Bill Ritter, Bill Owens, Roy Romer and Dick Lamm; former U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Hank Brown; Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers; former Transportation Secretary Federico Peña; and civic and business groups, including: the Denver Metro Chamber, Colorado Concern, the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, Club 20, the Colorado Association of Realtors, the Colorado Contractors Association, the Metro Mayors Caucus, Progressive 15, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and the Vail Valley Partnership.
Like Isaac Slade says: “The caucus system is old fashioned, and we have outgrown it, and we’re ready to join the national conversation for something better.”
What’s better than brews and great live music? We had both earlier this summer at a campaign fundraiser for Let Colorado Vote. Isaac Slade, lead singer of The Fray, headlined the event at the Great Divide Brewery in Denver, giving a wonderful intimate performance, including one song un-mic’d. The Denver native talked about why he loves Colorado and why he supports the Let Colorado Vote initiatives, which seek to increase participation in primary elections in Colorado. Thanks to the folks at Great Divide for hosting the event. We’ll be doing more to get the word out about the initiatives as we get closer to the election. See a video of Isaac on the Let Colorado Vote Facebook page and learn more about the campaign here.