There are three propositions on this year’s ballot that seek to establish new state laws by statute, instead of adding to and amending Colorado’s Constitution.
Proposition 106, known as “medical aid-in-dying,” does what the Legislature has failed to do in two legislative sessions – give Coloradans the right to control their end of life decisions. A “Yes” vote will make it possible for mentally capable individuals who have less than six months to live to self-administer a life-ending drug. Two physicians, one of them the attending physician, will have had to affirm the individual’s remaining length of life, and that the individual is mentally capable.
The law is modeled after laws in five other states. Oregon, where the option has been in place for 19 years, is best known. Given all that has gone into shaping legislation in other states, and the detailed and emotional legislative debates in Colorado, Proposition 106 is well-crafted and the protections are many. It contains a multitude of provisions to answer many what-ifs that have arisen elsewhere or could arise in Colorado.
For some voluntary control over the end of life, vote “Yes” for Proposition 106.
HHHPropositions 107 and 108 would recreate a presidential primary in Colorado and open all primaries to unaffiliated voters. Both should be approved.
Proposition 107, “Presidential Primary Elections,” would recreate a presidential primary in Colorado. It was prompted in part by the messy way this year’s caucuses worked out. Democrats turned out in such numbers that many events were overwhelmed, while Republican officials chose not to have an official presidential preference poll. Too many people from both (or no) party felt excluded and called the process undemocratic.
Neighborhood caucuses favor party loyalists, are held one night in March and are difficult to attend for many who desire to. They are also time-consuming, lack the anonymity of a secret ballot and exclude those not affiliated with a political party. Proposition 107 would establish a presidential primary also in March when contested races are usually still undecided and would allow unaffiliated voters to participate.
Colorado had presidential primaries in 1992, 1996 and 2000 but quit to save money. It has a primary, for state, federal and local offices that is held in June and that, along with the existing caucus system to nominate candidates for other offices, will not change.
Opponents argue that with a presidential primary there is less incentive to participate in a local caucus, affecting a common route for everyday citizens to become involved in public office. That is possible, yet, the opportunity for increased participation of voters is important and every reason to support it.
Vote “Yes” on Proposition 107.
Proposition 108, “Unaffiliated Voter Participation in Primary Elections,” would allow unaffiliated voters to vote in other primary races, which would still be held later in the year than the presidential primary, if approved.
Proposition 108 respects the taxpayers by insisting they all be allowed to participate if they are paying for an election. Given that more than one-third of Colorado’s registered voters are unaffiliated, the current system effectively disenfranchises too many people.
The hope behind both propositions 107 and 108 is that opening primaries to unaffiliated voters could increase voter participation – and perhaps lessen the influence of the parties’ more extreme elements.
Those goals are worth the effort. Vote “Yes” on Propositions 107 and 108.