It’s Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023.

Welcome to Wednesday, Boulder.

For today, we’ve got election results as we know them so far. Here are the big takeaways at this point:

  • Ballot Issue 2A has passed.
  • Ballot Question 302 — or Safe Zones for Kids — is poised to pass.
  • BVSD Board of Education races are nearly decided.
  • The four seats on the Boulder City Council remain close.
  • The mayoral race is 50-50.
  • Approximately 85% of ballots have been counted so far.

John Herrick has the story below, but we also liveblogged results last night and captured moments from watch parties across town for those who are interested.

Have a good day. You’ll hear from us again with another results update likely before day’s end or tomorrow.

— Tim, reporter

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Featured stories

Boulder’s mayoral election is shaping up to be a nail-biter

The latest results from the 2023 election show Councilmember Bob Yates leading Mayor Aaron Brockett by just 221 votes, or less than 1%. About 86% of the ballots cast in the election have been counted, leaving the race too close to call. 

Meanwhile, Ballot Issue 2A for arts funding has passed and Ballot Question 302 is poised to pass. BVSD Board of Education races are all but decided. The four seats on the Boulder City Council remain close though Tara Winer will win reelection. It appears unlikely the political leanings of the nine-member city council will change dramatically. Continue reading…

2023 Boulder election results in 4 charts

Live updates on the races for City of Boulder mayor, city council, BVSD Board of Education, plus city and county ballot measures — in graphics. Continue reading…

Boulder Reporting Lab is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization that empowers our community through non-partisan, locally focused journalism that informs and connects.

In other news

Some rain, then some sun

40s with rain today, so cuddle up with coffee or tea or a nice hot cup of water. The sun returns tomorrow with temps staying in the 50s through the rest of the week.

Campaigns have spent more than $287,000 on the city election

Councilmember Bob Yates has spent more than $32,000 this year in his bid for mayor, making him the single biggest spender of the 2023 election, according to the most recent campaign finance reports filed on Nov. 2.

Most of this money has been spent on printing and sending out mailers, buying ads and making yard signs. Besides a personal loan, all of Yates’ campaign contributions were $100 or less.

The next biggest spender in the mayoral race: Working Families Party National PAC, a Brooklyn-based committee. The group has spent more than $21,000 on the mayoral election, according to city records. Nearly all this money has been spent on digital ads and mailers attacking Yates, including one that sought to link Yates, a former Republican, to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The group supported the two other councilmembers in the race for mayor, Nicole Speer and Aaron Brockett. Both accepted public matching funds and, as a result, agreed to spend no more than $22,610 this year, in accordance with the city’s campaign finance rules. More on our liveblog here.

Voting is relatively easy in Boulder County. It’s also ‘safe and secure.’

In an email to city election officials Tuesday morning, Paul Tweedlie, a Republican candidate for city mayor, alleged “every ‘absentee’ ballot is probably fraudulent and these ballots should be quarantined and processed separately.

Tweedlie’s comment stems from a story in the Boulder Daily Camera in which a county election official reminded voters they can drop off their ballots at drop boxes outside of Boulder County and their ballots will still be counted.

Colorado’s election system is considered one of the best in the county in terms of security. Moreover, On Nov. 19, the county will conduct an audit to ensure the accuracy of the election results by comparing actual ballots with how those ballots were recorded in the election system. The audits are open to the public.

“Foremost, elections in Colorado are safe and secure. There are no fraudulent ballots unaccounted for,” John Morse, the city’s elections administrator, said in an email to Tweedlie. More on our liveblog here.

Boulder County to impose penalties for ‘RV encampments’

The Boulder County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously passed an ordinance intended to make it easier for officers to clear out encampments of people living out of their vehicles in unincorporated Boulder County.

The new rules, which will take effect when signed by the chair of the board, define an “abandoned vehicle” as one left in one location for more than 72 hours. Owners who violate the rule may be ticketed up to $60 for a third offense or have their car impounded.

The number of people sleeping in their vehicles is partially a symptom of rising homelessness across the county. During a public hearing on Nov. 7, residents who own homes in the Twin Lakes neighborhood said they have seen drug use near “RV encampments” and blamed reports of burglary on the people sleeping in vehicles along the residential streets.

According to the ordinance, if an officer determines that someone has a “financial or other hardship,” they are required to provide that person with information about Boulder County Community Services resources.

In May 2022, county commissioners voted down a proposed ordinance that would have imposed penalties for people sleeping in their vehicles, in part because they wanted the county to respond in a more “holistic way.” Read more on BRL.

Boulder’s climate action

The City of Boulder has released a story map of steps it’s taking to combat climate change as well as goals it has for the future. Working through everything from resources available to residents wanting to electrify, to how the city is trying to support local bugs, to its steps towards increased solar, the story map is all encompassing for those who have the time for ample scrolling.

Courtesy of the City of Boulder

In the story, the city cited some of its wins when it comes to its approach to addressing a changing climate. One included the city’s refusal to accept a rate increase proposed by Xcel Energy that would have provided shareholders an increased return with a cost to residents. It also notes that its ordinance preventing non-electric vehicles from parking in EV charging spots has been copied by municipalities across the U.S.

City of Boulder transportation emissions, solar capacity increasing

In connection with the climate story map, the city also has two dashboards relating to its local electricity sources and greenhouse gas emissions. While local solar generation is on a rapid upward trend, so are transportation emissions that fell briefly during the pandemic. Though only back to about 2019 levels, it’s not the direction we want to go.

BVSD Water Polo wins state championships

The Boulder Valley School District high school water polo team won the state championship at the Air Force Academy over the weekend. They won 10-7 against last year’s champions, Cherry Creek School District, to clinch the title. The co-ed team is comprised of 17 players from nine high schools in the Boulder area. (h/t Leslie Peng)

Courtesy of Leslie Peng

Veterans Day closures

This Friday, all city administrative facilities, age well centers and libraries will be closed on the day when we appreciate those who have served in the armed forces. The recreation centers will still operate normal hours, as will the Boulder Reservoir and Flatirons Golf Course.

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Tim Drugan is the climate and environment reporter for Boulder Reporting Lab, covering wildfires, water and other related topics. He is also the lead writer of BRL Today, our morning newsletter. Email: