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A young smiling woman holds up a button that says I voted.

First-Time Voters, Don’t Sit This Election Out!

// October 17, 2023

Voting Is A Habit We Build, And It Pays Off

The best way to turn a newly minted voter into a voter? Voting. First-time voters, if that sounds simple and circular, it is! And, when women vote, women’s issues are prioritized!

Research shows that the number one predictor of voting is if a person has voted regularly in the past. Voting is a habit we build, the civic engagement version of brushing our teeth. But it can be hard to get started.

In Colorado, 33% of 18 – 29-year-olds voted in the 2022 election. Though that number puts us in the top five states for youth turnout, it also shows how many young Coloradans are not exercising their right to vote. We are fortunate that Colorado makes voting easy and accessible by mail. There’s no need to worry about time away from work or school or care taking, as people in other states might need to do. Since every Colorado voter gets a mail ballot you can vote from the comfort of your home.

As we count down the days to November 7, we’d like to welcome new voters! We are delighted to have you as part of our engaged electorate, and we look forward to learning with you and voting alongside you. You can make a difference for your future.

Voting Makes Your Voice Heard

In today’s world, it’s easy to feel powerless, but information and voting are power. Anytime you have the opportunity to vote, seize it. Those who do not vote miss a critical opportunity to shape the places where they live, learn, and work.

For years, powerful forces have opposed and restricted voting, especially by young people and people of color. Civil rights leaders fought long and hard to secure, protect, and support our civic rights. Though the landmark Voting Rights Act combatted racist laws and structures denying voters equal opportunity, there are still those who are actively trying to deprive individuals of the right to vote. We owe it to civil rights leaders, ancestors who couldn’t vote, and ourselves, to exercise our right to vote and share our perspectives through our ballots.

As first-time voters, you can inspire others to vote alongside you by making voting a community event. Invite friends over, bring your ballots and ballot guides, and discuss the issues together. Take your time and learn about how initiatives will impact you, your community, and the people you love.

Though this is not a presidential election, you have an opportunity to be an active part of our democracy and build a voting habit you can draw from during the presidential election year in 2024.

If you’re a new voter, and you’re not sure where to start, visit our Civic Engagement page for information on how to register or confirm that you are registered, ballot trackers, and places where you can learn more about candidates or ballot issues.

Experienced voters can help young people and new voters build the voting habit. Ask youth if they have questions about the process and ask them about their plans to vote. Research shows that when people are asked their plans to vote they are more likely to cast their ballots. Share resources with them, like the Womanifesto and The Colorado Health Foundation’s Local Ballot Measure Tracker. More importantly, engage with and learn from the young people in your lives by asking what they think about the issues on the ballot. They have unique, valuable perspectives, and we have much to learn from one another.

The 2023 Election May Not Be Sexy, But It Matters

This year, Colorado voters will see statewide measures with fiscal implications that directly impact the economic mobility of Colorado women and families. See our positions below, and you can also access, share, and print our nonpartisan ballot guide, the Womanifesto.

Proposition II – Support

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado supports Proposition II, which will allow Colorado’s newly launched universal preschool program to retain excess funds collected through nicotine taxes. We know that high-quality early education and childcare is critical for women and their families, and these dollars are vital. Denver voters have the opportunity to make permanent the .15% sales tax that supports the Denver Preschool Program through a measure on their local ballot. We support this measure as well. Together, Proposition II and the Denver Preschool Program initiative provide revenue that expands access to high-quality preschool for children and their families and gives caregivers’ budgets breathing room.

Proposition H – Support

We support Proposition HH, referred to Colorado voters by the legislature. The measure will control and lower property tax rates for the next ten years, and at the same time allow the retention of excess TABOR revenue to reimburse local governments for lost revenue and ensure essential services continue to be funded. It’s a thoughtful approach that promotes equity and supports the local services, including schools, libraries, and fire departments.

Yes to a Permanent Sales Tax to Support the Denver Preschool Program – (Referred Question 2P)

In the City and County of Denver, a yes vote on a Permanent Sales Tax to Support the Denver Preschool Program will ensure there is a permanent .15% sales tax revenue stream to support the Denver Preschool Program.

Depending on where you live, you may see additional ballot initiatives for school or library funding. City council and school board seats are also on the ballot. Small, local races have a big impact on what happens in our schools, libraries, towns, and counties, in the places and spaces women and their families spend their days, and we must embrace the opportunity to use our voices to support those who will best serve our communities. As a 501c3, The Women’s Foundation will never endorse a candidate for public office, but we will use our voice to encourage people to use theirs to advance gender, racial, and economic equity through civic engagement and voting.

While these types of fiscal measures get less attention than senate seats or the presidential election, they are an important opportunity for voters to actively participate in the creation of a stronger Colorado that works for us all.

Turn-out rates are always lower during a non-presidential cycle, and that means that the choices of those of us who vote have even more weight.

Now is the time to lift up your voice through your ballot. I hope all eligible voters – young, old, and in between – join us and vote!



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