Greetings, voters current and prospective. This year’s governor’s race is not one to sit out — no incumbent, a crowded primary field on both sides, no clear front-runner, and big, tough challenges ahead, nearly all of them the result of Colorado’s growth. You know why you should vote, but maybe you have some questions on the how, when and where of it. You’ve come to the right place.
We’ve assembled some of the top FAQs from the Colorado Secretary of State’s excellent voter information page, plus a few Indy extras. We’ll be updating this page as the situation warrants.
First things first: Have a question for any of the candidates that you haven’t seen answered? Email Corey Hutchins at email@example.com. He’s the man with the plan on this page.
Second, key dates you need to know:
March 6. Republican and Democratic Party precinct caucuses
April 14. State assemblies.
May 29. Last day for voters who are affiliated with a political party to change or withdraw their affiliation if they wish to vote in a different party’s primary election.
June 4-8. Ballots mailed to voters. Unaffiliated voters will receive ballots from both Dems and Rs. Choose only one. See details below.
June 18. Last day for an individual to submit a voter registration application and still receive a ballot in the mail.
June 26. Primary election. Polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Nov. 6. General election
Now to the questions.
How do I register to vote?
If you have a Colorado driver’s license or ID card issued by the Department of Revenue you may register to vote online at www.GoVoteColorado.com. If you are already a registered voter in Colorado you may confirm your registration at this website. Once your registration is verified, you may update your address and party affiliation as well.
Printable voter registration forms are also available on the Secretary of State’s web site, county clerk and recorder offices, and any federal post office that provides voter registration applications. You may mail, fax, or scan and email your complete and signed form to your county clerk and recorder’s office.
You can also register in person by:
● Registering at a physical office
- A Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle office when you apply for a driver’s license, or update your driver’s license information.
- Offices that provide public assistance, including offices that provide state funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities.
- Recruitment offices of the armed forces of the United States.
- Any federal, state, local government, or nongovernment office that chooses to provide voter registration service or applications.
- A voter service and polling center.
● Registering through a voter registration drive
Source: Colorado Secretary of State FAQs
What is the voter registration deadline?
Colorado law allows you to register to vote through Election Day. But please note that how you register to vote impacts how you receive your ballot. In order to receive your ballot by mail:
- Register to vote or update your voter registration online at www.GoVoteColorado.com through the 8th day before Election day.
- Submit an application through the mail, at a voter registration agency, or at a local driver’s license examination facility through the 8th day before Election Day.
- Submit an application through a voter registration drive no later than 22 days before Election Day.
If you miss the above deadlines, you may appear in person at a voter service and polling center in your county through Election Day where you can register to vote and then vote in person or pick up a ballot.
Source: Colorado Secretary of State FAQs
Who can vote in a primary election?
- Voters affiliated with a major party: may cast a ballot for candidates of the party they are affiliated with.
- Voters affiliated with a minor party: if there is a minor party contest those affiliated with that minor party may cast a ballot for those candidates.
- Unaffiliated voters: An unaffiliated voter may cast a ballot for any one political party. If an unaffiliated voter returns a ballot with more than one major political party, the ballot will be rejected and none of the votes will be counted.
I am an unaffiliated voter. Do I have to choose in advance which party’s primary ballot to vote?
No, but you can if you want to. You have several options:
- You may choose which party’s ballot you want to get in the mail for the next primary election by selecting a party preference at govotecolorado.com or on any paper voter registration form.
- If you would rather receive a packet containing the ballots of all participating major parties, you can take no action or select this option when first registering to vote.
- You can also appear in person at any Voter Service and Polling Center in your county and choose the party’s ballot you want to vote.
Does selecting a ballot preference as an unaffiliated voter mean that I am joining that party?
No. An unaffiliated voter who selects a ballot preference in advance of a primary election will remain unaffiliated.
Does voting in a party’s primary as an unaffiliated voter mean that I am joining that party?
No. An unaffiliated voter who votes in a party’s primary will remain unaffiliated. However, the primary that you vote in will be a public record (but not how you voted).
I am an unaffiliated voter. Why did I get two ballots sent to me during a primary?
Most unaffiliated voters will receive the ballots of both major political parties during a primary election. This allows an unaffiliated voter to choose which party’s primary they will vote in. Unaffiliated voters may only return one party’s ballot. Returning two voted ballots will result in neither ballot counting.
Where can I find information about the caucuses?
Caucuses are held on the first Tuesday in March. In a presidential election year, a political party has the option to hold its precinct caucuses on the first Saturday following the presidential primary election. The persons receiving the highest number of votes at the precinct caucus are the delegates to the county assembly from the precinct. Contact your political party for additional information relating to caucus and party rules.
What the heck is a caucus?
Glad you asked. We wrote an explainer.
Can I participate in a party’s caucus meeting if I am unaffiliated?
No. But you can watch. To participate in a party caucus meeting you must join that party before the party’s caucus. However, you are still eligible to vote in any participating party’s primary election.
Where do I caucus?
Contact your political party for information about your precinct caucus.