Voting in Colorado

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Colorado permits online voter registration and early voting. Colorado is one of only three states utilizing a vote-by-mail system for all elections. If voting in person, voters in Colorado are required to present a valid form of identification at the polls.

For full information about voting in Colorado, contact the state election agency.


Colorado uses a closed primary system, meaning voters are required to declare a party preference when registering to vote. The state does allow unaffiliated voters to choose to affiliate with a party on Election Day in order to vote.[1]

An individual can register to vote if he or she:[2]

  • Is at least 16 years old and will be 18 years old on the date of the election at which he or she intends to vote,
  • Is a citizen of the United States, and
  • Has resided in Colorado for 22 days immediately before the intended election.[3]

—Colorado Department of State

When and where

Colorado voters can register through Election Day, but must register at least 8 days prior to Election Day to automatically receive a ballot in the mail. Voters who register after that point must pick up their ballot in person at any Voter Service and Polling Center.[4] Voters can register online or submit a form by fax, email, mail or in person.[5]

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of April 2015, Colorado is one of 20 states that have implemented full online voter registration. Residents can register online at this website.

Proposed changes

In 2013, the Colorado State Legislature passed a bill that authorizes same day registration. The bill makes other election reforms, including mailing a ballot to all registered voters and allowing in-person voting at any voting center established by the law instead of designated precinct polling places[6][7]

Voting on Election Day

Voter identification

See also: Voter identification laws by state

Voters must provide a valid form of identification at the polls. The following are acceptable forms of identification:[8]

  • A valid Colorado driver’s license or valid identification card issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue.
  • A valid U.S. passport.
  • A valid employee identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. government or of Colorado, or by any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of Colorado.
  • A valid pilot’s license issued by the federal aviation administration or other authorized agency of the U.S.
  • A valid U.S. military identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector.
  • A copy of a current (within the last 60 days) utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector.
  • A Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaskan Native Blood.
  • A valid Medicare or Medicaid card issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • A certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate for the elector.
  • Certified documentation of naturalization.
  • A valid student identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by an institute of higher education in Colorado, as defined in section 23-3.1-102(5), C.R.S..
  • A valid veteran identification card issued by the U.S. department of veterans affairs veterans health administration with a photograph of the eligible elector.
  • A valid identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal government certifying tribal membership.[3]

—Colorado Secretary of State

For more information regarding valid and invalid forms of identification, click here.

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Colorado, the polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time .[9]

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting


As Colorado uses a vote-by-mail system, there is no need for absentee ballots.[10]


To vote with a mail-in ballot, the application must be received by the election office at least seven days prior to the election. A returned ballot must then be received by the elections office by close of polls on Election Day.[10]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Early voting

See also: Early voting

Colorado is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 10 days before a primary election and 15 days before a general election and ends on the day prior to Election Day.[11] The nationwide average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

Election policy ballot measures

Voting on
elections and campaigns
Ballot measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Elections and campaigns on the ballot and List of Colorado ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked the following ballot measures relating to election and campaign policy in Colorado.

  1. Colorado "Headless Ballot", Measure 14 (1912)
  2. Colorado Campaign Contribution Limits, Amendment 15 (1994)
  3. Colorado Campaign Contributions from Government Contractors, Initiative 54 (2008)
  4. Colorado Campaign Finance, Initiative 15 (1996)
  5. Colorado Campaign Finance, Initiative 27 (2002)
  6. Colorado Candidate Selection, Initiative 29 (2002)
  7. Colorado Coroner Qualifications, Referendum C (2002)
  8. Colorado Corporate Contributions Amendment, Amendment 65 (2012)
  9. Colorado Detonation of Nuclear Devises, Measure 10 (1974)
  10. Colorado Elected State Board of Education, Measure 2 (1930)
  11. Colorado Elected State Board of Education, Measure 6 (1928)
  12. Colorado Election Laws, Measure 10 (1912)
  13. Colorado Elections of County Officers, Measure 2 (1960)
  14. Colorado General Assembly Age Qualification, Referendum L (2008)
  15. Colorado Initiative and Referendum Amendment, Referendum 1 (1980)
  16. Colorado Mail Ballot, Initiative 28 (2002)
  17. Colorado Mailing Ballot Information, Referendum B (1996)
  18. Colorado Official Compensation and Election Campaign Limits, Amendment 12 (1994)
  19. Colorado Petitions, Initiative 13 (1996)
  20. Colorado Presidential Primary, Referendum 2 (1990)
  21. Colorado Retention Elections of Justices and Judges Amendment (2014)
  22. Colorado Right to Petition Governor for Special Election on Measures, Measure 4 (1914)
  23. Colorado Secret Ballots, Measure 1 (1946)
  24. Colorado Selection of County Surveyors, Referendum C (2000)
  25. Colorado Selection of Presidential Electors, Initiative 36 (2004)
  26. Colorado Single Subject Initiatives and Referenda, Referendum A (1994)
  27. Colorado Special Elections for Initiatives and Referendums, Measure 11 (1912)
  28. Colorado State Ballot Information Booklet, Referendum B (1994)
  29. Colorado Sunshine Laws, Measure 9 (1972)
  30. Colorado Two-Stage Election System Initiative (2014)
  31. Colorado University of Colorado Board of Regents, Measure 4 (1972)
  32. Colorado Voluntary Congressional Term Limits, Initiative 18 (1998)
  33. Colorado Voter Approval of all New Taxes, Measure 10 (1976)
  34. Colorado Voter Qualification Amendment, Referendum 2 (1984)
  35. Colorado Voter Qualifications for Elections, Measure 4 (1962)
  36. Colorado Voter Registration, Initiative 30 (2002)
  37. Colorado Voter Registration Amendment, Initiative 4 (1984)
  38. Colorado Voting on County Superintendent of Schools, Measure 2 (1964)
  39. Colorado Yes or No Elections Initiative (2014)

Recent news

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See also

Elections in Colorado

External links