NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Follow KUNC's coverage of the 2022 midterm election, and get results on all the state races here.

It’s election day, and there’s a lot at stake in Colorado

Jackie Hai

The 2022 midterms have arrived. Coloradans must submit their ballots by 7 p.m., either via an official drop box or in-person at a voter service and polling center. It’s too late to submit ballots by mail. For specific information on polling center and dropbox locations, head to

Since ballots were mailed to voters a few weeks ago, 1,686,304 ballots have been returned, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Of those ballots, 648,449 are from unaffiliated voters, 534,679 are from Democratic voters and 485,084 are from Republicans. There are 3,820,764 total active, registered voters in Colorado.

There’s a lot on the ballot this year. Coloradans are weighing in on races for governor, the U.S. Senate, two Congressional seats, Secretary of State and Attorney General. There are also 11 ballot measures up for a vote and local elections across the state.

Governor’s race:

In the race for governor, incumbent Democrat Jared Polis is seeking a second term. His challenger is Republican Heidi Ganahl, who was elected to the CU Board of Regents in 2018. Ganahl is focused on the economy and said she’ll cut taxes and increase fossil fuel production.

Polis said his policies are saving Coloradans money, and will continue to do so. He also cites his record as governor, including his administration's delivery of free full-day kindergarten and leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic. Government watchdog reporter Scott Franz recently interviewed Polis and Ganahl about their platforms on KUNC’s Colorado Edition.

U.S. Senate race:

Incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet is facing off against Republican challenger Joe O’Dea. Bennet was first elected to the Senate in 2009. His platform includes expanding tax benefits for parents, increasing transparency in healthcare and getting special interests out of American politics.

O’Dea’s platform includes shrinking government bureaucracy and spending. O’Dea also supports limited access to abortion, increasing access to mental healthcare and codifying same-sex marriage. Both Senate candidates were also recently interviewed on KUNC’s Colorado Edition.

8th Congressional District:

The Congressional race in Colorado’s newly created 8th District is considered a toss-up between Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer and Democrat Yadira Caraveo. Kirkmeyer is a state senator from Weld County, and Caraveo is a pediatrician who serves in the State House of Representatives.

The 8th district also has a larger Latino population than any other district in Colorado, and both Republicans and Democrats have been vying for their votes. However, according to local political organizers, including the Latino Coalition of Weld County, Latino voters will likely vote according to issues impacting their lives as opposed to politics. KUNC’s recent story about the 8th Congressional District dives into the Latino community’s role this election season.

Secretary of State and Attorney General races:

Republican Pam Anderson is challenging incumbent Democrat Jena Griswold for the Secretary of State’s office. Griswold was elected in 2018 after working for then-Gov. John Hickenlooper and in the Obama Administration. She said she will use her position to protect reproductive rights and same-sex marriage.

Anderson was the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder for eight years until 2015. She is a moderate Republican who is pro-choice and has pushed back against claims that the 2020 Presidential Election was fraudulent.

Incumbent Democrat Phil Weiser is up against Republican District Attorney John Kellner in the Attorney General’s race. Weiser’s platform includes protecting abortion and addressing the fentanyl crisis. Kellner’s platform centers largely around public safety and cracking down on crime. Interviews with the attorney general candidates aired on KUNC’s Colorado Edition.

Ballot Measures:

The eleven propositions on the ballot deal with a variety of issues. Proposition FF would fund free school lunches across the state by adding a tax on Coloradans making over $300,000 per year. Proposition 122 would legalize the use of psilocybin, the psychedelic substance in so-called magic mushrooms, for use in some mental health treatments. Then, Proposition 123 would dedicate some existing income tax revenue to affordable housing projects. There are also three measures on the ballot that would make changes to Colorado’s alcohol industry. For a breakdown of each ballot measure, head to KUNC’s election guide.

I’m the Statehouse Reporter at KUNC, which means I help make sense of the latest developments at the Colorado State Capitol. I cover the legislature, the governor, and government agencies.