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Charter Review Committee


Recorded meetings will be available

All Charter Review Committee meetings will be recorded and made public on this website.

The Charter Review Committee provides critical input to improve election processes. This committee works directly with Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul López, his office, and other appointed members of the community.  

The seven-member committee represents a bipartisan approach and invites feedback from numerous stakeholders, including the community, for guidance during the review process. 

For over 100 years, Denver’s Home Rule Charter has required the City to conduct a run-off election after a general municipal election. As currently written, the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office must follow state election law while conducting a general municipal election in May of every odd-numbered year. Candidates for Mayor, Auditor, Clerk and Recorder, or District Councilmember must receive a majority of votes cast to be elected to office, while candidates for Councilmember At-large need only be in the top two to be elected.  If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for Mayor, for Auditor, for Clerk and Recorder, or for district Councilmember in the respective districts, the Clerk’s office must conduct a run-off election on the first Tuesday in June following the general election.

The Charter’s deadlines mean that the Elections Division must conduct a runoff election about one month after the general municipal election while also following state election law. Colorado’s election laws moved the state to a mail ballot election model in 2013, but Denver’s runoff timeline has never been updated to accommodate this. Now, the Elections Division must conduct runoff elections that conflict with mail ballot deadlines. After two municipal election cycles like this, Clerk López aims to rectify this conflict through this committee process. 

Clerk López intends to resolve this conflict. To do so, Denver’s Charter needs to be amended, but there are multiple ways that it could be changed. In order to choose the best path forward, Denver Clerk López has decided to convene these Denver residents to engage with the community, study solutions, hear policy experts, solicit public feedback, and recommend a path forward for the future of Denver’s elections. The Clerk hopes that the Committee’s recommendation will provide Denver with an inclusive election process that increases participation, reduces costs, and align with Colorado’s voting model.

The Committees will make a formal recommendation to Clerk López in early 2021 so that he may work with City Council place a Charter amendment on the November 2021 ballot. Clerk López will instruct the Committee to recommend one of the following options to him:

  1. Pursue first-past-the-post voting;
  2. Pursue ranked-choice voting;
  3. Pursue approval voting;
  4. Provide more time in between the general and the run-off elections; or
  5. In connection with another option above, change the dates of the election(s).

The Committee is comprised of seven members who are appointed by Council, the Mayor’s Office, and Clerk and Recorder Paul López.  

Would you like to offer your thoughts on the future of Denver’s elections? Please email your comments to charterclerk@denvergov.org and they will become part of the official record. The Committee members will review all public comments before each meeting. 

 

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Location & Hours
200 W. 14th Ave #100
Denver, CO 80204
Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

 

Denver Elections Division

Call: 303-653-9668
Text: 56003
elections@denvergov.org
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