Voting in Colorado
|Election policy on Policypedia|
| State poll times (2015) |
| Voting in the 2015 primary elections |
| Voting in the 2015 general elections |
|Voter identification laws by state|
|Voting information by state|
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.
To vote in Colorado, you must meet the following requirements:
- 18 years of age or older on the date of the election at which the person intends to vote,
- A citizen of the United States, and
- A resident of Colorado, as well as the intended voting precinct, 30 days immediately before the election at which the person intends to vote.
When and where
The deadline for registration in Colorado is 29 days prior to election day. You can register online here. You can also print off a paper registration form from the same website. The form must then be returned by fax, email, mail or in person.
As of April 2015, Colorado is one of 20 states that have implemented full online voter registration. Residents can register online at this website.
The 2013 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
|Bill||Introduced||House Vote||Senate Vote||Gubernatorial Action|
|HB13-1303||April 10, 2013 in Colorado House of Representatives||on April 19, 2013, 36 to 26||on May 2, 2013, 20 to 15||on May 10, 2013|
Voting on election day
Voters must provide a valid form of identification at the polls. The following are acceptable forms of identification.
- A valid Colorado driver’s license;
- A valid identification card issued by the Department of Revenue in accordance with the requirements of Part 3 of Article 2 of Title 42, C.R.S.;
- 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 United States government or of this state, or by any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of this state;
- A valid pilot’s license issued by the federal aviation administration or other authorized agency of the United States;
- A valid U.S. military identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector;
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector. For example:
- A cable bill or telephone bill,
- Documentation from a public institution of higher education in Colorado containing at least the name, date of birth, and legal residence address of the student elector,
- A paycheck from a government institution or private company, or
- 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 (formerly the United States Healthcare Financing Administration);
- A certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate for the elector issued in the United States;
- 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 United States 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.
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
- See also: Absentee voting
As Colorado uses a vote-by-mail system, there is no need for absentee ballots.
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.
Military and overseas voting
For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
- 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. 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.
- Colorado Revised Statutes, "Title 1, Article 7, Section 201, Voting at primary election," accessed January 2, 2014
- Colorado Department of State, "Quick Reference Guide," December 12, 2013
- Colorado Secretary of State, "Go Vote Colorado," accessed June 9, 2014
- Coloradoan.com, Hickenlooper to approve same-day voter registration, other election reforms, May 9, 2013
- Denver Post, Colorado bill offers more mail ballots, Election-Day registration, April 9, 2013
- Colorado Secretary of State, "Acceptable Forms of Identification," accessed June 9, 2014
- Colorado Revised Statutes, "1-7-101," accessed January 3, 2014
- Colorado Mail-in Ballot Application, accessed December 18, 2013
- Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Colorado," accessed December 18, 2013