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Colorado voted to approve Propositions EE and 117 as well as Amendments 76 and 77. Chaffee County voters aligned with state trends on all four ballot measures, with large approval margins for Prop EE and Amendment 76.

Proposition EE: Tax on Nicotine Products

Colorado voted in favor of Prop EE, which creates a tax on nicotine products and increases cigarettes and tobacco taxes. Tax revenues are to be dedicated toward a number of health and education programs, including a cash fund for preschool programs, a state education fund, a cash fund for rural schools, a housing development grant fund, a tobacco tax cash fund, and a tobacco education programs fund.

                        Yes/For         No/Against

Statewide      68.08%            32.14%

Chaffee           67.97%            32.03%

Cigarettes have been taxed at a statutory rate of 20 cents per pack with an additional constitutional tax of 64 cents per pack. The 2020 ballot measure will incrementally increase the statutory cigarette tax rates to 84 cents (statutory) and $1.80 (constitutional) by July of 2027.

Proposition 117: Enterprise Approval

Coloradans voted to approve Prop 117, which moved to require statewide approval of new state enterprises if the enterprise’s projected or actual revenue from fees and surcharges is greater than $100 million within its first five years.

“Enterprises” are defined by the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) as government-owned businesses that are paid for by the individuals or entities purchasing goods and services.              

                        Yes/For         No/Against

Statewide      52.42%            47.58%

Chaffee           52.14%.           47.86%

Colorado Rising State Action, a nonprofit group that describes its mission as “advancing conservative principles in Colorado and holding liberals accountable,” sponsored the initiative.    

Amendment 76: “Citizen” definition

Colorado voters approved Amendment 76, which proposed changing the language of the Colorado Constitution to state that “only a citizen” of the U.S. who is 18 years of age or older can vote in Colorado. In order to pass, Amendment 76 would need a 55 percent supermajority vote for approval.

                        Yes/For         No/Against

Statewide      62.84%            37.16%

Chaffee           63.99%.           36.01%

The constitution’s original language states that “Every citizen of the United States who has attained the age of eighteen years, has resided in this state for such a time as may be prescribed by law, and has been duly registered as a voter if required by law shall be qualified to vote at all elections.” Amendment 76 would change the language to read “Only a citizen.”

Amendment 77: Gambling Freedom

Colorado voted to approve Amendment 77, which allows voters in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek to approve a maximum single bet limit of any amount and to expand allowable game times in addition to slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps. Current constitutional language limits the types of games allowed in casinos and sets a maximum single bet limit of $100.

                        Yes/For         No/Against

Statewide      59.97%            40.03%

Chaffee           54.27%.          45.73%

Under the measure, each municipality may hold a local election to vote on whether to change betting limits and add new games. The earliest these changes could go into effect is May 1, 2021. Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek are currently the only towns where gaming is legal in Colorado.