DENVER — There is an election in Denver on Tuesday, but based on ballot returns, Denver voters either don't know or don't care.
As of Tuesday night, just 12.7% of Denver voters had returned their ballot. That's 53,000 people.
How many haven't voted yet? Enough to fill Mile High Stadium nearly five times: 365,000.
The ballot includes:
- Initiative 300, which would overturn the homeless camping ban
- Initiative 301, which asks to make "magic" mushrooms the lowest priority for Denver Police
- Denver Mayor
- Denver Auditor
- Denver Clerk and Recorder
- 13 City Council seats
The localized city council races could have as much impact as the race for mayor.
"If all the incumbents were to win and my seat were to go to somebody else that is more deferential to the mayor, the status quo will, sort of, be firmly in place," said District One Denver City Councilman Rafael Espinoza, who represents northwest Denver.
Espinoza is not running for reelection. And in full disclosure, he's not on "Team Hancock."
"No, I think that's pretty damn clear," said Espinoza.
He has been a voice of opposition, but told Next with Kyle Clark that he's not running again because he feels he can do more for the city without the constraints of a full-time job as councilman in the minority. He said he's also discouraged by low voter turnout, especially in his district.
Of the 13 city council seats, 10 have two or more candidates.
Espinoza believes there are five currently on council who can be counted on to support the mayor no matter what. Seven votes are needed to pass anything.
He'd like the next council to scrutinize contracts and policies more than the council he has sat on.
"All you have to do is say 'no' once to a budget. You don't have to be an obstructionist. You don't have to be unwilling, but if you want this administration to compromise, you have to show them the ability and desire and willingness to say no," said Espinoza.
Denver city council decisions can have a ripple effect to other cities in the metro area, if not the state. Discussions on homelessness, safe injection sites and immigration have been brought up in nearby cities and even at the state Capitol.
Denver ballots are due by 7 p.m. on May 7.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Denver mayoral race