Non Partisan & Odd Year Elections

Odd Year Elections comprise city and town councils, primarily home rule communities that elect council members and retain judicial appointments. Odd numbered years may also serve Special Districts. These are non partisan contests.

The Approval Voting method can be used in Non-Partisan elections to avoid costly run-off elections. This is an effect of the simplicity of method itself. Unlike Instant Run-Off or numerically ranked voting, the tally of votes is transparently the sum of all votes cast. Other alternative methods, such as Ranked Voting, involve more complex math and are not readily understandable for voters and elections officials.

Colorado has several cities in which leadership is replaced in a manner similar to a parliament, where the voters are polled to see if they like the present leadership (ie: mayor) and failing a certain percentage another vote will be taken for replacement. Rather than two tiered voting, Approval Voting could be used in one election to determine if the leader had maintained his/her percentage of Approval, or elect the new leader.

Mayor Jones needs 40% Approval to avoid being replaced. If he gets this Approval, all others lose. If he doesn’t, then the one candidate with the most votes is the new Mayor.
Some voters may Approve of Mayor Jones and also support the best person seeking the seat. All on the same ballot at the same time.


At-Large Elections in which four or more seats are to be filled are a good use of Approval Voting, especially when there are a large number of candidates. A recent Boulder election had fourteen candidates seeking five seats.

CU student government recognized this difficulty and now use Approval Voting for their at-large elections.

Jonathan Singer's Approval Voting bill HB17-1281 in 2017 was our last legislative attempt to instruct the Secretary of State to create rules and procedures for Approval Voting elections. Now in 2019 we are led to believe that the new administration of Jena Griswold has an interest in supporting alternative voting methods, including Approval Voting.
Local election supervisors in counties, cities/towns, and special districts need election rules from the Colorado Secretary of State.
Home Rule communities may already use Approval Voting without SoS rules, but find them valuable.
Approval Voting for Colorado seeks additional rules, not a change to existing rules.
Use of Approval Voting will be strictly voluntary by communities and districts that want to try it.