How to Vote in Colorado's 2022 Elections

Posted on 03/15/22 by Jessica Ravitz

En español | Colorado’s June 28 primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballot for the U.S. Senate and House, Colorado General Assembly, governor and lieutenant governor, and for some other statewide offices.

What's new this year:

While it's unlikely, there is a chance lawmakers will introduce changes to how you vote during their 2022 legislative session. And a new redistricting plan may affect which candidates run in your district and appear on your ballot. One big change from 2020: Due to population growth in the last census, Colorado picked up a new seat in the U.S. House and established the 8th congressional district in the Denver area. 

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Essential info:

  • Voting with a mail ballot: Every registered voter automatically receives a ballot by mail in Colorado. Your mail ballot will be sent to the address in your voter registration file, which you can check and update at GoVoteColorado.gov.   
  • Early in-person voting: If you prefer to vote in person, you can visit a vote center to cast your ballot in the eight days before the primary election and the 15 days before the general election, not including Sundays.  
  • In-person voting on Election Day: The state’s primary election is Tuesday, June 28, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 


How do I register to vote?

  • Online: If you have a Colorado driver’s license, an ID card issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue or a Social Security number, you can register online on the secretary of state’s website.   
  • By phone: Call your county clerk and recorder’s office to request that a paper copy of the registration form be mailed to you. Or call the secretary of state’s office at 303-894-2200 to ask for a form. You can mail, email, fax or hand-deliver the completed form.  
  • In person: Visit your county clerk and recorder’s office to pick up and file a registration form. You can also register to vote when you get or update your Colorado driver’s license. Or register at public assistance offices, including offices that provide services to those with disabilities; military recruitment centers; or any municipal clerk’s office or federal post office that provides voter registration applications. Keep your eyes open, too, for voter registration drives in your area. You can also register to vote at a voter service or polling center in your county during the lead-up to and on Election Day.  

There is no deadline to register to vote in person. But if you want a mail ballot, you need to register in advance — no later than Monday, June 20, for the primaries and Monday, Oct. 31 for the general election. Ballots will be sent to voters as early as 22 days before an election (June 6 for the primaries, Oct. 17 for the general election), so it’s best to register as soon as possible to make sure your vote gets in on time.  

Go online to check and update your registration status. You can also contact or visit your county clerk and recorder’s office, or call the secretary of state’s office at 303-894-2200 if you have questions about your status.  
 

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote in the primaries?

Yes. When you register to vote, you can choose to affiliate with a major party or a minor party, or you can choose to be unaffiliated. Voters affiliated with a major party can vote only in that party’s primary election, and voters affiliated with a minor party can vote in that party’s contest if that minor party is having a primary. Unaffiliated voters will receive ballots for both the Democratic and Republican primaries and must be careful to vote only in one party’s primary. If you vote in more than one political primary, your ballot will be rejected and none of your votes will count.  

Colorado’s political parties are listed on the secretary of state’s website. If you have questions about the minor party primaries, call the secretary of state’s office at 303-894-2200 or contact your county clerk and recorder’s office.  

The deadline to change your political affiliation in your voter registration file is June 6.  

In the general election, voters use the same ballot, regardless of party affiliation. 

How can I get a mail ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Every registered voter whose information is up to date will automatically receive a mail ballot. Check your voter registration information to make sure your current address is on file. 

Ballots will be automatically mailed to registered voters between June 6 and June 10 for the primaries and between Oct. 17 and Oct. 21 for the general election. 

If you are not registered to vote before mail ballots are automatically sent out, or if your mailing address needs to be corrected, you can register or fix that address and be sent a ballot in the mail as long as you do so no later than Monday, June 20, for the primaries and Monday, Oct. 31, for the general election. But it’s best to register as early as possible to ensure you get your ballot on time.  

Completed ballots must be received by your county clerk and recorder’s office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you miss that deadline or fail to sign your envelope, your vote will not count. You can return your mail ballot: 

  • By mail: Postage rates may vary, depending on the length and weight of your primary ballot, for example. Check with your county clerk and recorder’s office to see what your ballot requires or, to be certain you have enough postage, take your completed ballot to a post office.  
  • In person: Your mail ballot package will include information about locations where you can safely drop it off. Or you can bring your ballot to your county clerk and recorder’s office or contact the office to find secure drop-off and drop-box locations in your area. Also, about 22 days before an election, a “lookup tool” on GoVoteColorado.gov will go live and provide locations where you can hand-deliver your ballot.  


Can I track my absentee ballot?

Yes. If you live in Denver County, you can sign up for email and text notifications about your ballot through BallotTRACE. If you live elsewhere in Colorado, you can track the status of your ballot by signing up for BallotTrax.  

You can also visit GoVoteColorado.gov to select a link and check the status of your mail ballot. 

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

If you’d rather not use a mail ballot, you can vote early in person at any voter service and polling center in your county. These centers will be open from June 20 to 28 (except for Sunday, June 26) for the primaries and from Oct. 24 to Nov. 8 (except for Sundays, Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, and Saturday, Oct. 29) for the general election. 

Vote center locations can be found on GoVoteColorado.gov through the lookup tool, which will go live a few weeks before the election. 

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The primaries are Tuesday, June 28, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. As long as you’re in line by 7 p.m., you’ll be able to cast your ballot.  
 
To find your local polling location, use the lookup tool on GoVoteColorado.gov

Are there any accommodations if I have a disability?

Yes. Options for accessible voting, including an electronic ballot that enables you to vote from home, are laid out on the secretary of state’s website. You’ll also find details about compliance, support resources, and answers to frequently asked questions from voters with disabilities.  

Do I need identification to vote?

If you vote in person, you must provide an acceptable form of identification. And if you’re voting by mail for the first time, you may be required to include a photocopy of your identification.  

Acceptable forms of identification are listed in full on the secretary of state’s website. Examples include: 

  • A Colorado driver’s license 
  • A U.S. passport 
  • An employee ID card issued by a governmental agency 
  • A military ID card 
  • A tribal ID card 
  • A certified birth certificate 
  • A student ID card from a Colorado higher education institution 
  • A Medicare or Medicaid card 
  • A current utility bill or bank statement 


What races are on the ballot in 2022?

  • U.S. Senate: 1 seat 
  • U.S. House: all 8 seats; Colorado gained a seat in the House, based on population growth in the 2020 census.  
  • Governor and lieutenant governor  
  • Other state offices: Secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general 
  • State Senate: 17 of 35 seats 
  • State House: all 65 seats 
  • Board of Education: 4 seats 
  • University of Colorado Board of Regents: 5 seats 
  • Colorado Court of Appeals: 8 seats, for retention to remain on the bench 
  • Regional Transportation District Board: 8 seats 
  • County-level and some municipal races 

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on March 15 to highlight essential information about how to vote in 2022. The guide was first published on July 21, 2020.
 
Also of Interest:  

This story is provided by AARP Colorado. Visit the AARP Colorado page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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