As polls closed during the 2023 state coordinated election, voters cast their ballots on several issues impacting Coloradans and Boulder residents alike.
While many of the state and local ballot measures were decided by mid-evening election night, at least one local race is still too close to call.
In case you missed our live coverage of the election, here’s a recap of the biggest stories from election night.
The mayoral race remains tense and uncertain
Roughly 86% of the returned ballots in Boulder have been counted as of Wednesday morning. While county Ballot Issues 1A and 1B and city Ballot Issues 2A and 2B seem almost certain to pass, the mayoral and City Council races remain too close to call thus far.
Incumbent Aaron Brockett now holds a slim lead against Bob Yates for the Boulder mayoral race as of the county’s most recent set of 4:30 p.m. results. Brockett has 50.85% of the vote, leading Yates by less than 500 votes. Still, this race is very close and difficult to call.
“We just have our fingers crossed,” incumbent Brockett said, commenting on the race Wednesday morning. “I’m feeling nervous; I’ve been doing a lot of pacing back and forth.”
The locally historic shift to ranked-choice direct voting has split the vote tabulation into rounds. Councilmember Nicole Speer and newcomer Paul Tweedlie were eliminated in the first round early into election night. Voters who favored those candidates had their votes transferred to either Yates or Brockett, depending on who they ranked higher. So far, Brockett has benefited the most from these transfers, earning nearly four times the number of transfer votes than Yates at 3,841.
The certification of the results on Nov. 28 will bring certainty to the race, although most Boulder ballots will be included in the unofficial postings by the end of the week.
City Council candidates are still competing for the fourth and fifth seats
As of Wednesday morning, the results of the City Council race remain uncertain as well.
City Council candidate Tara Winer holds a strong lead with 19.28% of the vote, while Tina Marquis and Terri Brncic follow in second and third. The fourth and fifth seats remain contested with Taiysha Adams and Ryan Schuchard currently filling those positions.
However, the mayoral race outcome appears likely to close off that fifth available seat. Mayoral candidate and active City Councilmember Nicole Speer currently trails with 17.47% of the first-choice vote, which eliminated her as a mayoral candidate in the first round.
If officially eliminated, Speer will return to her City Council position, where only four seats would be available. Schuchard and Adams are in tight competition for that fourth seat, with Adams leading by only 50 votes.
Ballot issues and BVSD races are largely safe enough to declare
Voters can find more stability through the ballot issues, where nearly all measures have secured a far enough lead to declare a likely decision.
Propositions HH and II were called early in the night by The New York Times.
Proposition HH, which would have reduced property tax rates and allowed the state to spend property tax rates that would otherwise be refunded, was soundly rejected by Colorado voters. However, the majority of Boulder County voters voted in favor of the measure, breaking off from the statewide opinion.
Meanwhile, Proposition II, which provides more funding for the state’s preschool programs using money voters approved in 2020, was approved by Colorado voters.
Boulder voters firmly approved county Ballot Issues 1A and 1B and city Ballot Issues 2A and 2B.
Question 302, the Safe Zones 4 Kids measure that prioritizes the removal of prohibited items within 500 feet of schools and 50 feet of sidewalks, is less certain. However, the divisive measure is still likely to pass, with 62.09% of Boulder City voters in favor as of Wednesday morning.
The Boulder Valley School District Board of Education race is almost decided. It seems District A’s Jason Unger, District C’s Alex Medler, District D’s Lalenia Quinlan Aweida and District G’s Jorge Chávez are set to win.
Another round of Boulder County ballots will be posted around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. While local issues and offices are mostly decided, the mayoral and city council races will be ones to keep an eye on as votes are tabulated.
Contact CU Independent Editor-in-Chief Isabella Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact CU Independent Special Investigations Editor Henry Larson at email@example.com.
Ann Marie Vanderveen and Celia Frazier contributed to this story.