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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Voter Registration in Colorado

Eligibility

  • Age: Are 16 years old, but must be at least 18 to vote in a general election. (Seventeen year-olds can vote in a primary election if they will be 18 on or before the next general election.)
  • Formerly incarcerated individuals: May vote if not in prison and not on parole. Individuals on probation may vote.
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Residence: Must be a resident of Colorado for at least 22 days immediately before the election in which you intend to vote.
  • Homeless voters may use any address within a specific county that he/she regularly returns to and has the intent to remain.
  • College students can either vote absentee in their home state or register to vote in CO
  • Check to see if you are already registered https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/olvr/findVoterReg.xhtml​

More information:https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/vote/VoterHome.html?menuheaders=5​

Deadline

Online registration

To use the online voter registration system you must have a current and valid driver’s license, or ID card issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Online registration form (in English and Spanish): https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/olvr/verifyNewVoter.xhtml​

Mail-in registration

Printable forms (in English and Spanish): https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/home.xhtml

Refer to the box below for information about ID requirements.

Choosing a political party   

You may choose a political party affiliation when you register, but it is not required.                 

Updating registration      

To update registration after a move, name change, or change of political party affiliation, use the "Find My Voter Registration" page.

Cancelling registration

There is an online form to withdraw a voter registration on the Colorado Secretary of State website: https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/withdrawLookup.xhtml.  Identity verification for the online form includes submitting a Colorado driver's license or ID card number issued from the Colorado Department of Revenue, or a Social Security number.

If you are unable to withdraw online, complete the paper withdrawl form, and mail it to your County Clerk and Recorder

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ID Requirements for Colorado Voters

ID Requirements for Registration

Online Registration

For online voter registration, a valid Colorado driver's license or state issued ID card from the Colorado Department of Revenue is required.

Mail-in Registration

An ID is not required for mail-in registration, but you must provide one of the documents listed on the form to verify residence:

  • Driver’s license number or state issued ID card number, OR
  • Last four digits of Social Security number, OR
  • You must present either a current and valid photo ID with your name and address, OR
  • “a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address.”

A complete list of accepted identification documents is available from the Colorado Secretary of State: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/vote/acceptableFormsOfID.html

ID Requirements for Voting

All voters who vote at the polls must provide identification. If you are voting by mail for the first time, you may also need to provide a photocopy of your identification when you return your mail ballot.

Many forms of identification are accepted, but most voters bring their Colorado driver's license or Colorado ID.

More information: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/vote/acceptableFormsOfID.html​

Where to get an ID

Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles

Obtaining a Driver’s License

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Casting a Ballot in Colorado

Important Dates

  • Presidential Primary Election: March 3, 2020
  • Primary Election: June 30, 2030
  • General Election: November 3, 2020
  • Mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on election days
  • Early voting: Information about in-person "Voter Service and Polling Centers" can be found through the County Clerk and Recorder. A list of offices and websites for each county: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/Resources/CountyElectionOffices.html. Mail ballots can be filled out and returned as soon as they are received.

Absentee voting

All registered voters in Colorado receive a mail-in ballot. Mail ballots must be received by the county clerk and recorder no later than 7:00 PM on Election Day. Voters are encouraged to drop off ballots at designated drop off locations, drop-box locations, or mail their ballots in time to be received by the county clerk before the polls close. Postmarks do not count; ballots must be in the hands of the county clerk by 7:00 PM on Election Day in order to be counted.

 

Military voters and voters who reside outside the U.S.

  • Military and overseas electors may submit a Federal Write-in Ballot (PDF) if there isn’t enough time to receive and return the state ballot. When voting your ballot, make sure you list each office for which you wish to vote as well as a candidate’s name or political party designation. You can include your votes for all federal, state, and local races. Once you have completed the ballot, you may return it by mail, fax, or email directly to your county or to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.
  • More information can be found in the Uniformed and Overseas Electors FAQ from the Colorado Secretary of State's Office.

 

Polling places and hours

Every registered voter in Colorado receives a mail ballot. If you prefer to vote at the polls, you can vote in-person at a voter service and polling center.

  • Use "Go Vote Colorado" to find your polling place: https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/home.xhtml
  • For a general election or primary, the deadline to vote in-person is 7:00 PM on Election Day.
  • Check with the county clerk regarding specific polling place hours.
  • Time off to vote: Under Colorado law, voters may get time off without loss of pay if he/she does not have sufficient time outside of regular working hours to vote. (C.R.S 1-7-102)

Rides to the polls

Many organizations offer free rides to polling places. Some of these include:

Help for disabled voters

  • Eligible voters with a disability may request to access their ballot and vote their ballot electronically. An eligible voter must print the voted ballot, the accessible ballot application, and sign the accessible ballot application. All of these materials must be returned together and returned through the USPS or in-person at a county drop-box or county VSPC.
  • The federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and Colorado laws require that voters with disabilities be able to cast their vote privately and without assistance. Each county has purchased accessible voting machines to be used in every polling place election. These new voting machines use assistive and adaptive technology to provide the opportunity for voters with a wide range of disabilities to vote privately and independently.

Ballots

All Colorado voters receive mail ballots.

Constitutional Amendments and ballot questions:

  • A "Ballot Information Booklet" also known as the "Blue Book" provides voters with the text title and an impartial analysis of each constitutional amendment or ballot question. The booklet is prepared by the Colorado Legislative Council Staff.

Sample ballots:

  • Coloradans can view a sample ballot online by clicking on “Find my registration” at GoVoteColorado.com. Once there, enter First Name, Last Name, Zip Code, and Birthday to see your registration. To view your sample ballot, click on “Ballot Information” and then “view my sample ballot.”
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Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • Primary elections are conducted to select each party’s candidates in the general election.
  • In Colorado, voters affiliated with a party may cast a ballot for candidates of the party they are affiliated with. Unaffiliated voters may cast a ballot for any one political party.
  • In a general election, voters are not required to have a party affiliation.

Jurisdiction

Offices/Measures That May Appear on the Ballot

Federal (even years)

President/Vice-President (elected every four years; next election in 2020)

Senator (elected every six years for staggered terms; next election in 2020)

Representative (elected every two years)

State (even years)

Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Judges 

State Senator (elected every two years)

State Representative (elected every two years)

Statewide ballot measures

Municipal/County (odd years)

School Board and other boards and commissions

Mayor

City  or Town Council Member

Clerk and Recorder

Coroner

District Attorney

Sheriff

Surveyor and Treasurer

Assessor

Local ballot measures

Who are the candidates, and what else is on the ballot?

  • Coloradans can view a sample ballot online by clicking on “Find my registration” at GoVoteColorado.com. Once there, enter First Name, Last Name, Zip Code, and Birthday to see your registration. To view your sample ballot, click on “Ballot Information” and then “view my sample ballot.”
  • Consitutional amendments and propositions: A "Ballot Information Booklet" also known as the "Blue Book" provides voters with the text title and an impartial analysis of each constitutional amendment or ballot question. The booklet is prepared by the Colorado Legislative Council Staff.

Important Dates

Election Day is November 3, 2020

The best resource to find election dates is the current Elections Calendar. It has dates for the election cycle, including Primaries, General and Coordinated Elections.

Who conducts elections?

  • The Colorado Secretary of State oversees statewide and local elections
  • County Clerks and Recorders maintain voter rolls, prepare ballots and administer balloting for each municipality

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

The Colorado Secretary of State may inspect and review the practices and procedures of county clerk and recorders, their employees, and other election officials in the conduct of primary, general, and congressional vacancy elections and the registration of electors. Information on the Election Complaint Process: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/HAVA/electionComplaintProcess.html

Campaign finance

TRACER, the Campaign Finance Database (http://tracer.sos.colorado.gov/PublicSite/Search.aspx) provides access to candidates’ election committee and Political Action Committee campaign finance filings

How to contact your elected officials:

Colorado does not have a single portal for identifying your elected officials. 

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General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.