The Democracy Initiatives are four Citizen’s Initiatives created by our campaign that will modernize and transform the democratic process in the state of Colorado.
Before I explain the details of these four initiatives, I’d first like to explain exactly what a Citizen’s Initiative is. Basically, a Citizen’s Initiative is legislation that is created, and voted into law by, citizens instead of the state government. If we are able to collect enough petition signatures for each of these initiatives, they will all appear on the ballot in November 2020 for all of the voters of Colorado to decide on.
The reason we’re calling these initiatives The Democracy Initiatives is because each of the four initiatives would create a more vibrant and engaging democracy in the state of Colorado.
The Democracy Voucher Initiative
The purpose of the Democracy Voucher initiative is to empower the voters of Colorado by publicly funding our elections. How this will work is pretty simple: every year, each registered voter of Colorado will be provided a booklet of ten vouchers (worth $10 each on even years & $5 each on odd years) which can be donated to whichever political candidates in the state of Colorado they prefer.
Using Democracy Vouchers to publicly finance our elections would dramatically reduce the enormous influence that corporations and special interests have in our democratic process by amplifying the voice and increasing the donation power of the American People. It would also require political candidates to begin to truly listen to their constituents and share their values to earn their support.
To summarize this initiative, Democracy Vouchers will…
- Empower the voters of Colorado by publicly funding our state’s elections.
- Be provided to each registered voter of Colorado at the beginning of every year in the form of a booklet containing ten vouchers.
- Be valued at $10 each ($100 total) on even years and $5 each ($50 total) on odd years.
- Be valid up to Election Day on each even year. For example, vouchers sent out in 2021 and 2022 would be valid up to the 2022
election. Vouchers sent in 2023 and 2024 would be valid up to the 2024 election, and so on.
- Be able to be donated to Colorado political candidates for the Governor seat, State House/Senate seats, and US House/Senate
- And it will give the power back to the people by enabling them to financially support political candidates that actually represent their
values. Politicians will no longer be financially dependent upon a small number of wealthy and powerful donors.
The Approval Voting Initiative
The purpose of the Approval Voting initiative is to address the “strategic voting”, “spoiler votes”, and “lesser of two evils” problems within our electoral system.
Our existing voting system can only efficiently support an election between two candidates. With any more candidates than that, voters will no longer always support their favorite candidate but will instead strategically vote for the candidate with the best chance of beating their least favorite candidate. This system consistently produces results that do not reflect the values of the American People while unfairly favoring candidates from major political parties and disenfranchising Independent & third-party candidates.
Approval Voting would enable each voter to vote for (or “approve” of) as many candidates as they wish. The winner of the election would be the candidate with the most votes. This simple reform to our electoral system would essentially eliminate strategic voting & spoiler votes and would result in a dramatically more competitive landscape for Independent and third-party candidates that want to challenge the dominance of the major political parties.
To summarize this initiative, Approval Voting will…
- Strengthen our democracy by essentially eliminating “strategic voting”, “spoiler votes”, and the “lesser of two evils” problems
within our electoral system.
- Enable each voter to vote for (or “approve” of) as many candidates as they wish instead of just one.
- Result in the most approved candidate winning the election.
- Create a more competitive landscape for Independent and third-party candidates that want to challenge the dominance of the major
- Increase civic engagement and voter turnout by empowering voters whose preferred candidates have historically been
- And it will be simple to understand and implement utilizing our existing electoral processes and infrastructure. (Such as voting
procedures, ballot printing, vote counting, etc…)
For more information about Approval Voting and a quick comparison with Ranked Choice Voting watch the following videos by the Center for Election Science:
[What Is Approval Voting?]
[How Our Voting System (and IRV) Betrays Your Favorite Candidate]
The Tax Credits for Voting Initiative
The purpose of the Tax Credit for Voting initiative is to dramatically increase voter turnout in Colorado’s elections – including our primary elections.
Colorado currently only has a voter turnout rate of around 60% during general elections and the numbers predictably get significantly worse when looking at the turnout for primary elections. In fact, in the most recent election for Governor, less than 25% of registered voters turned out to vote in the primary election. Providing Colorado voters with a $40 tax credit for voting in general and primary elections will inspire more people to have their voices heard by participating in the most important part of our democratic process.
To summarize this initiative, Tax Credits for Voting will…
- Dramatically increase voter turnout in Colorado’s general and primary elections.
- Provide Colorado voters with a $40 tax credit for voting in general and primary elections, meaning that voting in both
elections would provide an $80 total tax credit.
- Be a “refundable” state tax credit, meaning that it would be added dollar-for-dollar to your Colorado state tax refund or
would be subtracted dollar-for-dollar from your Colorado state tax obligation.
- Reward voters for participating in the most important part of our democratic process.
- And it will result in a more competitive, dynamic, and diverse political atmosphere in the state of Colorado.
The Democracy Day Initiative
The purpose of the Democracy Day initiative is to dramatically increase voter turnout in Colorado’s elections by providing the voters of our state with the opportunity to have time to participate in the most important part of our democratic process.
Making Election Day a holiday for the state of Colorado (and eventually the entire nation) will remove one more obstacle preventing Americans from exercising their political power and having their voice heard. This initiative is incredibly important to us because it ties all of the other Democracy Initiatives (Approval Voting, Democracy Vouchers, and Tax Credits for Voting) together. These are all amazing reforms that would significantly strengthen the democratic process in Colorado, but they won’t truly accomplish their goals unless we do everything that we can to make sure that as many people as possible can benefit from all of these reforms.
To summarize this initiative, Making Election Day a Holiday will…
- Dramatically increase voter turnout in Colorado’s elections.
- Provide Colorado voters with the opportunity to have time to participate in the most important part of our Democratic process.
- Always fall on the first Tuesday after November 1st of every even year.
- Enable as many Coloradans as possible to benefit from all of The Democracy Initiatives.
- And it will strengthen our democratic process by showing the people of Colorado’s commitment to making sure everyone
in our state gets to exercise their political power and have their voice heard.