2018 Midterm Election Guide

Austin Fleskes and Natalia Sperry

Video Courtesy of Collegian Television. 

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The 2018 Midterm Elections are fast approaching, and Colorado voters can expect to face a number of decisions on their ballots.

Colorado State University students alone make up about 10 percent of Larimer County’s population, giving CSU a sizable voice in the election. Washington Monthly ranked CSU as one of only 58 universities out of 1,488 to score full points for their commitment to encouraging student voting.

What are midterms?

Midterm elections refer to any general election vote that takes place during the middle of a president’s four-year term, meaning citizens can elect representatives and vote on local and state issues. In Larimer County, voters will be able to vote in three representative races and on a number of ballot issues.

In June, voters had the chance to participate in the primary elections, which determined which candidates would move forward to the general election. This was the first primary non-party-affiliated citizens were able to participate in the vote, as previously, unaffiliated voters would not receive a ballot unless they requested one, as reported by The Collegian in spring 2018.

Colorado State Governor

After the primary elections, two representatives are running to be the governor of Colorado: Democratic nominee Jared Polis and Republican nominee Walker Stapleton. Polis has served as U.S. Representative for Colorado’s second congressional district, which includes Fort Collins, since 2009. Stapleton is currently Colorado’s State Treasurer, a role he has served for two terms.

Polis and Stapleton will be engaging in a debate in the Lory Student Center Theatre Wednesday, Oct. 17. Tickets are free for students, though registration is required.

Congressional Representatives

As Polis is running for governor, Rams can also expect to vote on a new representative for CSU’s congressional district. There are four candidates running for the position: Democrat Joe Neguse, Republican Peter Yu, Libertarian Roger Barris and Independent Nick Thomas. For full profiles on all candidates, visit The Collegian’s coverage online.

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County Commissioner

Voters in Larimer County will also be presented with two options for County Commissioner. State Sen. John Kefalas, who has served as a representative for Fort Collins both in the Colorado House and Senate since 2006, is running for the Democratic party. Sean Dougherty, who currently serves on the Larimer County Board of Commissioners, is re-running to represent the Republican party.

The three-member Board of Commissioners is the main policy-making body in the County. According to the county’s website, commissioners are limited to serving three four-year terms, which are staggered between the three members.

Ballot Initiatives

Looking to the ballot, there are a total of 13 initiatives voters can expect to see. Six of these represent initiatives were put forth by the state legislature, while citizens presented the remaining seven. These issues range from rewording the state constitution and restructuring of the ballot to fracking and funding for public schools.

Looking Ahead

Voters in Colorado can register to vote up until Election Day. Those unsure of their registration status can check online to confirm that they are registered at vote.org.

Ballots will be sent out the week of Oct. 15. Every voter in Colorado now receives a mail ballot at the mailing address provided through their voter registration file, according to Colorado’s Secretary of State. Ballots can be dropped off at a number of 24-hour stations, of which there are five in Larimer County. Voting ends 7 p.m., Nov. 6.

Stay with The Collegian for the next month for more on midterm elections.

Austin Fleskes and Natalia Sperry can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Austinfleskes07 and @Natlia_Sperry.