Nederland Downtown Development Authority
November 7, 2017 Special Election FAQs
On November 7, 2017, the Nederland Downtown Development Authority (“DDA”) is asking the qualified electors for authorization to issue debt to cover projects to be undertaken by the DDA and paid for by its Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds. Elections are held as needed to authorize debt for projects aligned with the DDA Plan of Development and Master Plan
Who will receive a DDA ballot?
Only “qualified electors” of the DDA will receive and vote on the DDA ballot. “Qualified electors” for the DDA ballot are natural persons or corporate entities who own commercial property or commercial leaseholders in the DDA. Residential property owners or renters are not qualified to vote. If a commercial property owner or commercial leaseholder is a corporate entity rather than a natural person, that entity will have to appoint a natural person to vote on its behalf (more information on this below).
The DDA hired the firm Collins Cockrel & Cole to assist with the election. Micki Mills, a paralegal with the law firm, will serve as the Designated Election Official (“DEO”). Ballots will be mailed between October 16th and October 23rd to the qualified electors known at the time of mailing the ballots. A commercial property owner or leaseholder can designate a natural person to vote on its behalf up to and including on Election Day.
How will the Town determine whether a property is commercial or residential?
This determination will be based on the Boulder County Assessor’s Office designation for the property for property tax purposes. For example, a residential property owner who is leasing his or her property to a commercial entity will not be qualified to vote. However, the commercial business owner leasing the property will be able to designate a natural person to vote on its behalf. In commercial mixed use properties, only the property owner and any commercial tenants will be permitted to vote on the DDA ballot. Residential tenants will not be qualified to vote.
How will I know if I am on the list of qualified electors to vote on the DDA ballot on Election Day?
The DEO will be compiling and maintaining a list of qualified electors for the DDA ballot. This list will start with a list of commercial property owners and commercial leaseholder tenants in the DDA, as provided by the Boulder County Assessor’s office. On September 8th, all identified commercial property owners and commercial leaseholder/tenants were mailed a letter notifying them of an upcoming election along with a Designation of Elector Form, and in some cases an Affidavit.
- If the owner of the property or leaseholder is a corporation, not a natural person, an authorized representative of the corporation must designate a natural person to vote on its behalf by completing and filing the Designation of Elector form.
- If you are a leaseholder and the lease is under a natural person’s name, not the name of the business, you will need to complete and file the Affidavit of Qualified Elector form.
One person = one vote: Each corporate entity may appoint a natural person to vote a ballot on its behalf, but each natural person may only cast one vote.
One owner, one corporate entity name, multiple properties = one vote: A person or corporate entity that owns multiple properties under one corporate name may only designate one person to vote on behalf of that corporate entity, even if that person or corporate entity owns multiple properties
One owner, multiple corporate entity names, multiple properties = multiple votes: A person or corporate entity that owns multiple properties under multiple corporate names may appoint one natural person to vote on behalf of each corporate entity. Each corporate entity must appoint a different natural person to vote, since each person can only cast one vote in the election.
What if I’m not on the list of qualified elector list for the DDA ballot but believe that I should be?
If a commercial property owner or commercial leaseholder feels that he or she is qualified to vote but has not received a letter and election notification from the DEO by October 15th, please contact the DOE as soon as possible prior to the election. Property owners will be required to present a valid deed for the property in question and the Town Clerk will confirm the commercial designation of that property with the Boulder County Assessor’s office. Leaseholder tenants will be required to present a valid commercial lease for a property in the DDA.
Why is the procedure for confirming your status as a qualified elector for the DDA ballot so cumbersome? Why can’t the DEO just use the County lists?
State law permits corporate and legal entities to vote in elections, but requires that they designate a “natural person” to vote on their behalf. The County lists do not provide that information, and such designation may change from election to election. The property owners list obtained from the Boulder County Assessor will not have the names of the leaseholders/tenants, and will not provide the names of the natural persons authorized to vote on behalf of a given corporate property owner.
By requiring all potential DDA voters to submit Designated Elector Forms and/or an Affidavit of Qualified Elector form confirming their eligibility to vote in the DDA election, the DEO is able to compile a list of natural persons who are eligible to vote on the DDA ballot. This way, the election judges need only reference the DDA voter list, just as they would the Nederland registered voters list for the municipal ballot; they will not be required to make a subjective, off-the-cuff determination of whether a particular individual is truly authorized to vote on behalf of ABC, Inc.