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After more than 500 days of contentious campaigning, countless attack ads, an unending stream of polling, and incessant canvassing, the 2016 election is finally drawing to a close. Here in Colorado, voters are not only playing a key role in the presidential election, but we’ll also be choosing one U.S. senator and seven U.S. House seats, deciding on several important ballot initiatives, and potentially shifting control of our battleground state legislature.
Stay tuned throughout the evening as we bring you local news and election results. Plus, take a look back at our coverage of this contentious election.
We’re signing off for the evening here at 5280. Check back tomorrow for more coverage of election 2016.
Open Primaries Passes
9News reports that Proposition 108, which allows unaffiliated citizens to vote in the presidential primaries, will pass. More than one-third of Colorado voters are currently registered independent. Earlier this evening, Proposition 107 passed, reinstating a presidential primary, moving the state away from the caucus system that was widely panned this year.
Denver Elects First Female DA
Democrat Beth McCann handily defeated opponent Helen Morgan with 75 percent of the vote to become Denver’s first female district attorney. She’ll succeed Mitch Morrissey.
Minimum Wage Becomes a Reality In Colorado
With the likely passage of Amendment 70—an increase to Colorado’s minimum wage—we spoke with April Medina, a 29-year-old home healthcare worker who taped an ad supporting the campaign with her son, one of five children she’s raising with her husband. Medina often works 84-hour weeks with double-shifts to meet her family’s basic needs. “This is huge for my family,” Medina says. “I can spend more time with my kids. I can be more involved in their education life. I can buy them shoes.”
When news broke tonight that the Amendment would probably pass, Medina told her daughter: “I’m going to be home with you more.” And she’s already thinking about the future: She’s hoping the increased income will allow her to build a saving account for college for her kids.
U.S. Congressional Races Called
The Associated Press is reporting that Michael Bennet will retain his U.S. Senate seat, defeating Republican Darryl Glenn with almost 60 percent of the vote reported.
Democrat Jared Polis will retain his seat in U.S. House District 2, defeating Nicholas Morse.
In U.S. House District 5, Doug Lamborn (R) defeats Misty Plowright, Colorado’s first transgender candidate for congress.
9News is also reporting that Republican Mike Coffman will hold his seat in the contested Congressional District 6 race against Morgan Carroll, although the Democratic candidate has not yet conceded.
Hillary Clinton Wins Colorado
Hillary Clinton is projected to secure Colorado’s nine electoral votes, according to NBC News.
Amendments Roll In
9News predicts that Amendment 70 will pass. The measure will gradually raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020. Amendment 71, which raises the bar on amending the state constitution, is also likely to pass.
District 1 Race Called
The Associated Press reports that Diana DeGette will (D) will retain her U.S. House seat.
Early Returns on Ballot Measures
9News is reporting that Proposition 106 (prescription assisted suicide) and Proposition 107 (creating a presidential primary) will pass.
Ballot Initiatives Are Coming In
According to 9News’ Nelson Garcia, Denver ballot questions 3A and 3B, both of which provide funding for Denver Public Schools, will easily pass.
Polls Are Closing Soon
Judge Jay S. Grant has ruled that the polls will not stay open until 9 p.m., as Dems requested. Anyone in line at 7 p.m. will be able to cast their ballots.
Dems Request Voting Extension
State Democrats requested that Colorado voting be extended until 9 p.m., due to the 29-minute lapse in voting systems that occurred earlier this afternoon. A hearing is currently taking place in Denver District Court.
Lynn Bartels, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s Office, tweeted that the office was opposed to the extension, saying, “The outage didn’t stop anyone from voting. We had two weeks of voting and everyone got a ballot. We have no reports of long lines and anyone in line at 7 can still vote.”
Republican representatives are also arguing against the extension, citing concerns about longer days for poll workers, according to Denver7.
Bartels also posted to Twitter that Arapahoe County issued 66 provisional ballots during the outage.
Choose Your Polling Place Wisely
5 LEAST BUSY sites (4:10pm):
Central Park Rec
Denver Police Dist 3
— Denver Elections (@DenverElections) November 8, 2016
5 BUSIEST sites (4:10pm):
— Denver Elections (@DenverElections) November 8, 2016
Three Hours To Go
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office reports that statewide voter turnout has already topped that of the 2012 presidential election. As of 2:12 p.m., Republicans have cast 836,151 ballots; Democrats have cast 800,085; and unaffiliated voters have turned in 730,433. Overall, more than 2.4 million votes have been counted.
Election Day Headaches
Colorado’s voter database was temporarily unavailable this afternoon, according to Lynn Bartels, spokeswoman for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. Bartels said via Twitter that the system was down for 29 minutes, from 2:47 p.m. to 3:16 p.m. During that time, clerks were unable to process mail ballots without signatures confirmed, and approximately 20 in-person voters cast provisional ballots.