A How to Guide: Voting in Colorado

Written By: Josh Speer

It is no secret that the election is just around the corner. The coverage has been all over the news, discussions have been thriving on social media outlets, and heated debates, especially about the candidates themselves, have persisted pretty much everywhere since the recent primary elections. If you are anticipating voting, here is what you will need to do.

Firstly, you must be registered to vote. The requirements are that you must be eighteen years of age, have started living in the state by October 17th and are a United States citizen. If you are not yet registered to vote, you may download this pdf file, fill it out and turn it in to your county clerk via mail, email, or delivery in person. To register in person, turn in the form (above pdf file) to your county clerk’s office, a Colorado DMV office when you apply for or renew your driver’s license, public assistance offices, military recruitment offices, as well as voter service and polling centers.

There have also been people around the campus with all the forms and information necessary to get you registered. To verify your voter registration, you may submit this form on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website. You may also browse through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section and find various other resources for information.

What if you’re one of the many people who have very recently moved here, and you’re interesting in participating in the election? Well, you’re in luck. It is important to note that you must have started living in the state of Colorado by at least twenty-two days before election day, or like I said, by October 17th. If you still have an out of state driver’s license or don’t have one at all, you may find it convenient that first time voters in this state don’t have to show ID to register to vote, even if in person. However, you will need some legal form of ID to show when the ballot is turned in.

Look for these envelopes in your mailbox starting the week of Oct 17th.

Also, by October 17th, ballots must be mailed to registered voters. Once you receive the ballot in the mail, you can fill it out at your leisure and then mail it back, as long as it is received before the November 8th Election. Make sure to read the directions on the ballot carefully and follow them so your ballot isn’t disqualified.

There are a number of benefits to voting early, including avoiding the hassle of voting in person on election day, ending the cycle of calls and knocks on the door asking if you’re registered and have voted (registered voters and whether they have voted is tracked and the parties won’t use resources on people who have already voted) and it gives your chosen candidate a sense of how well they are doing, allowing them to better allocate resources.

Click  here to search for drop off locations near you

Service and polling centers open beginning October 24th. These are places where you can go to update your voter registration, obtain a replacement ballot (in case of loss or damage to original) or return a completed ballot.

Election day (the last day you may participate in voting) is officially on November 8th. The polls are open from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, though I wouldn’t personally advise waiting until the last day. There are also secured ballot drop boxes that can be used to drop off completed ballots.

As you can see, there are many different ways you may have your voice heard in this election. Whether you’re a Colorado native or a new arrival to the state, there are plenty of opportunities and methods to exercise your right. Get out there and see to it that your voice is heard!

How to Vote in Colorado Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YbN3aXcz98

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